An Unexpected Upside from Occupy L.A.’s Trampling of City Hall Lawn

Tents at the Occupy Los Angeles protestEnvironmentalists want to replace the ruined grass in front of L.A.'s City Hall with native plants that will require less water. Image: Neon Tommy/Flickr

Occupy L.A. has destroyed the City Hall lawn, and conservationists are saying good riddance to the water-guzzling grass.

When Occupy Los Angeles protestors finally leave the now-destroyed City Hall lawn, conservationists are hoping the water-guzzling grass will give way to native plants and lawn replacements that demand fewer resources to stay alive.

The city already pays single-family home owners $1 a square foot to rip out lawns, which drink up 54% of a family’s water usage. Conservationists want the city to practice what it preaches and forget about replacing City Hall’s lawn and repairing its sprinklers — to the tune of $120,000 — and instead install native species that save water and need little maintenance.

Los Angeles Times writer Emily Green supports turning City Hall into a test garden that will share its lessons around the city.

“For example, if felling the non-native figs around City Hall is a non-starter for sentimental reasons,” Green writes, “we should at least be irrigating the magnificent old trees with drip instead of lawn sprinklers — a move that would reduce trimming needs by slowing the trees’ growth.”

Have you replaced your lawn with native plants or other water-saving options? Would you even consider it?