Northridge West Neighborhood Council listened to the outcries of its stakeholders who have lamented for many years about the dying trees on the Tampa Medians, a stretch of six street medians one mile long, containing 62 trees. Last year the council spent $3650 to remove dead trees that succumbed to the drought.
This was a project that was too big for the neighborhood council to do by itself, and they couldn’t, as the medians are City owned. At the request of stakeholders, a committee met with Bureau of Street Services, Division of Urban Forestry, to develop a plan to save the trees on the medians.
During the process there were numerous phone calls and emails between the team members and Urban Forestry Manager Hector Banuelos, working on coordinating the details regarding repair of infrastructure that Urban Forestry would provide and the technical support of requirements, specifications and drawings that Northridge West needed. The help of DONE’s Analyst Jeff Brill was also critical to the successful outcome.
Urban Forestry approved the plan to install a drip system to save the remaining trees .The idea for the drip system was inspired by suggestions from stakeholders who were involved with the council’s committees and attended the meetings with Urban Forestry.
Thanks to the cooperation from the Urban Forestry team, they were able to work collaboratively; Urban Forestry provided the infrastructure and technical support to help obtain bids for the drip irrigation system to sustain the health of the trees.
Work has started on the installation. The impact to the community is a drip irrigation system that will irrigate the existing mature trees on the Tampa Medians in Northridge. This stretch of medians represent the largest visible open space in Northridge with more than 50,000 cars passing it each day. As the gateway to Porter Ranch and Northridge, and the Northridge Mall, dead trees and weeds growing waist high did not make a good impression for those entering or leaving the community.
The drip system project supports the Mayor’s goal of reducing the average temperature by three degrees in Los Angeles by adding shade. Carol Bornstein, director of the Nature Gardens at the L.A. County Natural History Museum said ,“Shade from broad canopy trees reduces the urban heat island effect cooling our streets, vehicles, people, pets, and wildlife. These trees reduce also reduce energy costs when properly sited and pruned. …the cooling effect of a single mature, large healthy tree is equivalent to ten room size air conditions operating 20 hours a day.”