Taking on the Tyranny of Turf

It’s lining up to be another dry winter, with water reserves at worryingly low levels. So what’s with L.A.’s obsession with expansive green lawns? How did this landscape ideal, imported from rainy Northern Europe, come to mean the good life in water-scarce Los Angeles? Can we keep it up, or is there a better way? Is the better way possibly even more beautiful?

On Sunday, November 17 at 3pm, TreePeople will partner with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West to answer some of these questions. “The Tyranny of Turf: Los Angeles Landscapes after the Aqueduct” will be a panel discussion with experts including: William Deverell, Professor of History at the University of Southern California, Chris Sellers, Professor of History at State University of New York, Stony Brook, Doug Sackman, Professor of History at the University of Puget Sound, and Paula Schiffman, Professor of Biology at California State University, Northridge.

The conversation will be an illuminating discussion on the impact that turf lawns have had on Los Angeles area water use and what thinking outside the lawn could mean for our landscapes.

TreePeople is excited to host this event at our Center for Community Forestry, featuring the La Kretz Urban Watershed Garden, to inspire more Angelinos to take personal responsibility for the urban environment. The event is open to the public, register here to reserve your seat.

By Torin Dunnavant

Torin is TreePeople’s Director of Engagement and Partnerships. He serves on the board of the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council. Originally from Sacramento, he enjoys exploring L.A.’s many neighborhoods and natural treasures, and roots for the Oakland A’s.