Check out Requiem for Lost Plants, an interactive project developed by local artists Alice Yuan Zhang and Alexander Kaye! Requiem for Lost Plants aims to shine a light on how whole ecological communities have been uprooted without acknowledgement as a result of the colonization and urbanization of Tongva, Chumash, and Kizh land here in Los Angeles.
The project digitally resurrects diminishing plant elders to share their stories for a global public through an immersive online environment: https://tinyurl.com/requiemforlostplants
Web-based visitors find themselves in an anthropocentric representation of urban Los Angeles, juxtaposed by the brightly-lit presence of five ancestral plants. Salix gooddingii, Salvia apiana, Sphaeralcea ambigua, Pseudognaphalium californicum and Layia carnosa dot the environment, hailing from diverse local communities of wetlands, sand dunes, chaparral, and coastal sage scrub habitats.
You can also interact with the project in person at a number of "culprit" sites across Los Angeles, including Rio de Los Angeles State Park!
Throughout the many millennia that these plants have called the land home, long before human concepts of ‘property rights’ and ‘manifest destiny’, they have cultivated know-how for not just their own survival but for the wellbeing of whole ecosystems. Each plant holds a nuanced story of collaboration and generosity so bountifully found in nature. We risk losing this wisdom as our own challenges of greed, neglect, and myopia continue to push aside and erase the deep generational knowledge of Indigenous peoples and make it increasingly difficult for the ecosystems themselves to survive. In sharing the stories and narratives of these "lost plants," the artists hope to inspire a deeper connection between people and the land, and to further advance localized ecological justice.
Requiem for Lost Plants is created by Los Angeles-based artists Alice Yuan Zhang and Alexander Kaye for 3hd Festival 2020: UNHUMANITY, commissioned by Creamcake and NAVEL. The Audubon Center at Debs Park is happy to have played a small role in the creation of this piece by providing ecological background and guidance.
During uncertain and unpredictable times we are finding solace in the familiarity of our favorite fall migrants - check out our latest Backyard Birding Tips video to learn how to identify some common migrants that you may be able to spot in the Los Angeles area throughout the winter months!
We hope that this update finds you and your loved ones safe and well, and that you are able to find moments of peace in the midst of anxiety surrounding the election, the sustainability of our local communities, and the precarity of our environment.
We are finding solace in the familiarity of Fall migrants, and while the Center remains closed to the public we have been focusing on our solar system renovation and staying connected with our community partners.
We do not aniticipate reopening the Center to the public until early next year. The Debs Park trails however, remain open, and we hope folks continue to safely take advantage of recreating in the park. Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com with any questions or concerns!
On Sunday, October 25th the community came out to Debs Park to celebrate Center Director Marcos Trinidad's work in the community as a part of Metabolic Studio's Dulce Democracia project. Although the morning was overcast and chilly, the sun came out just in time as Angelica's Ice Cream truck pulled into the Debs Park parking lot off of Monterey Road, to the delight of all the kids (and many of the adults) in attendance.
Dulce Democracia is an action of Metabolic Studio, where they have partnered with a local ice cream truck vendor named Fausto (Angelica’s Ice Cream) and are distributing ice cream and masks along his regular routes in East LA and in communities along the Los Angeles River. The masks they are giving away say “¡Vote! 2020” on them as they encourage everyone to safely participate in this critical election. Additionally, the Center was able to provide the community with free California wild rose plants from our Los Nogales Native Plant Nursery!
As a part of this project, Metabolic Studio has been recognizing leaders in our local community who have uplifted their communities in these unprecedented times with a What the Helado!? Banana Split. It was a pleasure to share this honor with friends, family, partners, and community members - without whom the Center's work in the community would not be possible. Especially in the midst of the oftentimes overwhelming stress and pain surrounding Covid-19, racial injustice, spreading wildfires, and election anxiety, it was an incredibly fresh breath of air to be able to connect with our community (while still physically distancing) and enjoy a sweet treat in the sun together.
Of course, Dulce Democracia is about more than free ice cream and enjoying each other's company. It's about coming together to share resources and mobilize those around us to take action and to vote early in this all too critical election. If you are able to and haven't done so yet, we urge you to please VOTE by 8pm on November 3rd.
We'd like to extend a huge THANK YOU to Metabolic Studio for the ongoing support of Marcos and the Center's work. For more info on their work, visit https://www.metabolicstudio.org/.
To our Debs Park community,
We hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and well. I’m sure many of you are just as surprised as we are that we are already nearing the end of summer! Our summer has certainly looked very different than usual without our Arroyo Adventure Summer Camp, community volunteer events, movie nights, and more. However, our team has been working hard to ensure that the Center is ready to thrive once we are able to safely reopen our doors.
With this being said, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Center will be getting an entirely new roof and solar system installed! As some of you may know, this is a much-needed update that will allow the Center to function much more effectively. We are thrilled to partner with Grid Alternatives on this project. This construction will extend through the end of this year, which unfortunately brings us to the bad news. The Center will remain closed to the public until at least January 2021. We will continue to keep you all updated and can’t wait to celebrate together once we reopen!
Staff continues to work from home - any questions or concerns can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
All the best,
The Debs Park Team
Debs Park trails remain open! Click here for more info.
This month, thanks to a generous donation from Jason Goldman (co-author of Wild LA) and Celestron, we were able to distribute 18 pairs of binoculars and copies of the book Wild LA to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) youth through four of our amazing partner schools: San Pascual STEAM Magnet, Esperanza Elementary School, Sotomayor Learning Academies, and Anahuacalmecac International University Prep. We are so excited that we were able to get these books and binoculars into the hands of some budding young birders and environmental stewards.
Events like the Christian Cooper incident in Central Park have brought widespread attention to a fact that many BIPOC individuals are already all too aware of: that outdoor spaces are not equally safe for everyone. White supremacy and institutional racism have impacted all aspects of our daily lives, and the outdoors are no exception. Providing resources and tools to BIPOC youth and increasing representation in outdoor spaces is one major step we can take to ensure that the outdoors are safe and welcoming for everyone.
Thanks again, Jason and Celestron!
Although the Center is currently closed to the public, the rest of Debs Park is open from dawn to dusk. Trails are accessible via the pedestrian entrance off of Griffin Ave, or via the driveway entrance off of Monterey Rd. The parking lot off of Griffin Ave. will remain closed, however there is street parking available.
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
We are proud to partner with Grid Alternatives for the Center's solar system renovation, and we want to take a moment to share about the amazing work that they do!
Grid Alternatives is the nation’s largest nonprofit solar installer, whose mission is to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. They work to achieve their mission through a number of programs, such as free solar installations for low-income families, hands-on solar job training, technical assistance programs, advocacy and policy work, and more!
Grid Alternative's holistic and "people-first" approach to renewable energy is very much in line with the Center's approach to environmental conservation, and it's great to be able to work alongside an organization who is similarly committed to investing in local communities, and building a more equitable environmental movement.
We are inspired by their awesome work and couldn’t be happier to partner with the Los Angeles team on our solar renovation project.
Check out their website for more info!
If you are new to Pasadena or Northeast LA, chances are you may have been quite surprised the first time you saw a large flock of bright green parrots flying around! If you've been in the area for a while, you may be all too familiar with the loud squawking of these flamboyant birds, which often takes place quite early in the morning! Whether you love them or hate them, red-crowned parrots have certainly made themselves at home here. Although there are a few different types of wild parrots that can be seen in Los Angeles, the red-crowned parrot is one of the most prevalent.
They are beautiful green birds with a bright red patch on their head, a pale colored beak, and an additional red patch on the back of each wing, which can be spotted when they are in flight. Native to northeastern Mexico, red-crowned parrots were introduced to California through the pet trade. The wild population that exists in Los Angeles today actually grew from parrots that escaped captivity and adapted to the urban environment. They adapted so well that in 2001, red-crowned parrots were added to the Official List of California Birds as an introduced species. Unfortunately, due to the pet trade and habitat degredation, the native population in Mexico has decreased significantly in recent years and the species could soon be considred threatened.
Fun fact: A flock of parrots is aptly called a pandemonium!