Paradise In An Urban Jungle

This past holiday season I went with family to sunny California for a family wedding. Since we were there, we decided we would see what we could in the Los Angeles area. I always think of L.A. as a smoggy, crowded, most definitely ‘non-green’ place and even thought the weather was beautiful, there were still the ‘brown clouds’ of smog hugging the mountains around L.A.

But the more time that I spent around L.A., the more that I started to notice the different efforts it was making to change things. As the New Year has begun, it is a great time for change, for fresh starts, for new beginnings. And in the heart of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Arboretum is starting some of those changes. The 127-acre arboretum has been bringing beautiful flowers and environmental hope to the L.A. area since 1948 and is a haven for plants, birds and people. I spent a few hours in the arboretum and marveled at the variety of plant life and the beauty of the nature around me. The sun setting on the hills of L.A. was magical and hope swelled in me for our future on this planet.

Not only had the arboretum been there for some 60 years, but they are continuing to seek to educate young and old alike in the L.A. county area about the environment, plants and birds and people that can positively and negatively effect it. They had a gift shop, a plant sale where you could buy some of the plants in the arboretum and an educational center where you could learn about the arboretum and about how to help the environment in your own ‘slice of land’, wherever that might be.

I even found an incredible example of the arboretum helping the environment when I used the bathroom and found this plaque above the bathroom utility. I took a picture of the urinal too, but I’ll spare you the image.

My trip to California, then, was surprisingly optimistic, as I saw one of the most consumer based-least green cities in our nation making attempts to educate and effect the environment theri in a postive way.

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