David Card, former Pacific Palisades Community Chair, spoke at the Pacific Palisades Advisory Board Meeting on July 20 about the state of trees at the Palisades Recreation Center.
Over the past few years, numerous trees have fallen down and never been replaced. The town’s Palisades Forestry Committee, which is aiming to plant 100 trees in honor of the town’s Centennial, is stepping up to help.
“There are four areas of the park that need to be addressed,” Card said, noting areas targeted include 1) the entrance, 2) by the bocce courts, 3) the playground, and 4) along the park’s perimeter.
He has worked with Steve Dunlap with the City’s Recreation and Parks Forestry Division on this project.
Three trees are proposed for the entrance. Two will be in the lawn south of the library and the third will “guard” the entrance to the park at the corner of Toyopa and Alma Real. The trees proposed are Queensland Kauri (Agathus robusta). Card describes it as “tall, narrow and a spectacular tree for the entrance.” Resident Randy Young has donated $910 to purchase the three trees.
The Pacific Palisades Community Council has pledged money to purchase three trees to be planted by the playground. The suggested trees are Torrey Pines (pinus torreyana), and Card said they are native to small areas of the SoCal coast and will provide shade.
Since two eucalyptus next to the bocce courts have been removed, there is no shade for the elderly who play in the afternoon. Your Palisades Park Improvement is expected to pay for two Tipuana tipu trees. The trees are South American natives (Bolivia) that thrive in warmer climates, are a fast-growing shade tree and low maintenance.
“Rec maintenance will plant the trees,” Card said, who had been working with Dunlap. “Rec and Parks will do the watering.”
Additionally, the donors were clear they did not want recognition or plaques in the park, because that would need approval from the Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners.
Additionally, along the border between the park, tennis courts and residences, “property-line trees,” which are Pittosporium undulatum, are dying. The lifespan for this tree/bush is about 40 years, so they are at the end of the plant’s lifeline.
Possible replacements could include Melaleuca quinquenervia (Paperbark) and Lophostemon conferrtus (Brisbane Box).
The melaleucca is a fast-growing tree, that is suitable for large gardens or parks. It is a medium sized to tall tree, growing up to 40 feet..
The Brisbane Box is a moderate to fast growing tree, that can become as tall as 50 feet. As it matures it develops a stately, dense, round-to-pyramidal-shaped crown, which provides shade and cover for birds.
Card guesses that as many as 30 trees could be planted in the vacancies and in place of the Pittosporum trees along the boundary of the park from Frontera to Alma Real, subject to further consultation with RAP Urban Forestry.
“It will provide a growing screen of trees,” Card said, noting that once trees are planted and grow, they should help shield residents from light pollution from the park.
TENNIS COURT LIGHT PROBLEMS:
Residents, whose properties abut the city park, are experiencing light pollution from the outdated and non-LED lights at the Tennis Center. The tennis lights are from the 1950s and 1960s. (The lights on Court 7-8 were installed in the 1970s).
Tennis director Mike Tomas said that Cheviot Hills and Westwood have received new lights for their municipal tennis courts.
The Palisades Park Advisory Board asked for the Recreation and Parks to replace the lights in January, and were told by Darryl Ford, Rec and Park’s Superintendent of Planning, Maintenance and Construction, that it would cost about $200,000 and that there was no money for Pacific Palisades.
Replacement would include “Demolition and removal of existing lights and arms (66 lights and 36 arms). Existing poles would remain and would be reused. Installation of 48 new LEDs and 36 new inline arms. Lighting would be designed to ensure illumination meets the target task of 50 footcandles for the tennis.”
The amount of money saved in electricity costs from installing LED lights was not included in the report.