Fire Station 69 Landscaping Saga
In 2016, firefighters from Station 69 went to American Legion Post 283 to ask for a grant to install artificial turf in front of their station, on Sunset Boulevard at Carey Street.
Firefighters at each City station are responsible for the landscaping upkeep, and with the drought and watering restrictions, the grass around the station had suffered.
Several Palisades residents heard about the appeal for money for turf and started working with captains/firefighters at the station to develop a landscaping plan.
A professional landscape architect was found, who donated her time to draw up a low-water, low-maintenance plan using drought-tolerant plants and areas of hardscaping, such as rocks and decomposed granite. The cost was projected at $39,000.
L.A. Fire Department Foundation President Karen Wagener met with the residents working on the project at a spring 2017 luncheon at Station 69 and explained how money could be donated. At that meeting, Wagener told the residents she did not want them to approach Palisades Village developer Caruso, because she wanted him to finance a larger project.
A fundraising appeal to Pacific Palisades residents was about to be printed in the Palisades News when the project was stopped by the LAFD Foundation. Station 69 captains contacted residents on August 31 and said they had been told that Caruso Affiliated would be doing the project.
This reporter called LAFD Foundation’s Wagener shortly before the 2017 Labor Day weekend to ask if the landscaper, who had been selected by Station 69 fire captains and who had donated the plans would still be used. On voicemail, she was also asked why she had changed her mind about going to Caruso. The call was never returned. Caruso was also contacted, but never responded. Michael Gazzano, Caruso VP, is a member of the LAFD Foundation board
Nina Andro replaced Wagener at the end of December 2017.
Now, two locals–Tracey and David Price of American Growers (who landscaped Palisades Village)–have been selected to do the landscaping plan and fundraising is underway.
At the October 25 Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting, Tracey Price said the projected cost would be $55,000-$60,000.
On November 3, Porta Via restaurant hosted a fundraiser to coincide with the launch of its breakfast service at Palisades Village. Individuals paid $100 and a family of four $250. According to some reports, $36,576 was raised.
People can donate to the Station 69 project via the LAFD website (supportlafd.org/fire-station-69-pancake-breakfast-brunch-fundraiser/), where a Palisades Village Deluxe Dining Package for (4) is available for $1,000. The package includes 1) breakfast/brunch at Porta Via, 2) lunch at Hank’s, and 3) dinner at Blue Ribbon Sushi.
The site also notes that for a $500 donation a person will receive an engraved plaque or for $1,500 an Adirondack chair.
Call (310) 552-4139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made online at supportlafd.org or mailed to LAFD Foundation, 1875 Century Park East, Suite 200, LA 90067 (memo line Station 69).