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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 2, 2009 9:28 AM. The previous post in this blog was The energy tax credit scandal. The next post in this blog is Guess who. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

God speed the plow

Here's an interesting phenomenon taking place in Los Angeles: self-appointed volunteers planting greenery by night on other people's bleak, sterile urban lots.

We need this kind of movement in Portland. Maybe they could show up here one night. [Via Tony Pierce.]

Comments (14)

Can't happen here. The "before" picture shows a sustainable, healthy patch of native flora (weeds), and the "after" shot reveals the introduction non-native, resource-demanding, displays of vanity. There's even a sign encouraging the wasteful abuse of precious resources, "Please Water Me." Very earth-unfriendly.

Here's a thought, since building communities seems to be the theme: Knock on the door and introduce yourself to the property tenant and ask them their permission to let you carry out your project. But that's probably just not hip enough, huh?

The recent trend toward approaching the owners of vacant lots about community gardening seems like a better idea.

The exception might be in the case of erosion or sloughing banks which could use a little emergency plantings to hold the soil. Given the situation, this could be considered self-defense by neighbors downhill.

Whats the point? homeowners dont even water their lawns here. Its will all be brown again eventually.

Beauty is its own reward, but this effort isn't going to make any meaningful impact on ecological problems. In fact, it's creating a strain on existing resources, like water ("water me").

And, as PDX Lifer said, it's often a planting of vanity non-native plants instead of native species, which is another way us humans show our ignorance about how the world works. Like the ridiculous planting of sub-tropical palm trees in Portland, for another example.

Sorry, I was being facetious. Shall we mandate that the Hood River Valley eliminate all non-native fruit-bearing trees? There are invasive species and there are plenty of imported species that add beauty and in fact improve the environment ecologically and aesthetically. I guess my irony missed the mark. But Im really do think the Guerilla Gardeners are full organic fertilizer.

Creating gardens on lots in this city is legally a stretch. This city won't even allow the creation of developed walkways, paths on even city-owned public right-of-ways.

The adjacent property owners are liable for the maintenance of such paths, and if someone falls down and wants to sue the adjoining property owner, they can as proven throughout SW Portland.

Landscaped lots by others would also have the same dilemma. As a property owner with a vacant lot, I wouldn't allow it for the liability reason.

Shall we mandate that the Hood River Valley eliminate all non-native fruit-bearing trees?

Fruit trees in the Hood River area generally aren't invasive species. You're misunderstanding the difference.

There are invasive species and there are plenty of imported species that add beauty and in fact improve the environment ecologically and aesthetically.

Agreed. The problem is, humans rarely know if a species is "invasive" until after experimentation. By then, it's too late. Ever hear of kudzu,for example? It was brought here from Asia as an ornamental, harmless plant. People planted it everywhere. Guess what happened?

And we're notorious for doing this with animals, as well.

The problem, PDX Lifer, isn't whether a species is invasive or not, really--it's that we're far stupider than we're willing to admit about ecology, yet we base our entire civilization on artificially manipulating and controlling it--and trying to fix it when we've damaged it. The fixing part is often when we do the most damage.


Looks like they planted succulents that only need occasional water. when the native plants won't grow because the asphalt around it, maybe desert like plants are the answer.

Is Medicinal hemp a sub tropic plant?

eco,

I'm not misunderstanding the difference. Are you really that blind to irony, or sarcasm?

Your sweeping generalizations regarding "our stupidity" are telling. I'm curious how you found the enlightenment the rest of us silly beings seemed to have missed? As far as my inability to recognize an invasive species from an apple tree, please note the use of the word "and" in the second sentence of mine you quote. You see, that word is there to indicate a difference, Invasive species "and" plenty of ... In other words, "invasive species AND those that aren't..." It's implied.

Now I realize I stand a good chance of getting kicked out of Bog's Bog Land for a while since my comments are directed at you and not the topic. But you might try reigning in the pejorative attitude a little. I'm guessing a lot of folks who read your dissecting commentary are just too polite to respond. Or maybe "we're far stupider than we're willing to admit..."

And yes, eco, I've known about kudzu for decades. English Ivy, Himalayan blackberry, English heather, Asain clematis, and on and on and on.

I'm curious how you found the enlightenment the rest of us silly beings seemed to have missed?

When I say "our stupidity", notice the pronoun.

But you might try reigning in the pejorative attitude a little.

Irony is good. It's one of my favorite forms of humor.

As far as my inability to recognize an invasive species from an apple tree

My mistake, then. Did you notice I was responding to you but not talking so much about you rather than all of us?

I'm guessing a lot of folks who read your dissecting commentary are just too polite to respond.

Oh, I wouldn't say that.

Palm trees grow pretty well up here.. They also require less maintenance and water then our native grass that uses up most of the Willamette valley "high value" farmland only to be exported all over the country.

So whats the big deal? Humans aren't technically native to anywhere except the heart of Africa, so should we all pack up and move because we are an invasive species?

Palm trees grow pretty well up here.. They also require less maintenance and water then our native grass that uses up most of the Willamette valley "high value" farmland only to be exported all over the country. So whats the big deal?

I wonder what the specific impact of palm trees on the local and regional ecosystem is?

Long time Toronto thing:
http://www.publicspace.ca/gardeners.htm

Wrong season around here, what I wish for is a "gutter" clean-up guerrilla attack. I see some beautiful blue sky - time to be my own Mugilla.


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