Just months ago, the lightly browned yard behind the oldest operating library in LA sat unused, save for the handful of individuals who relaxed in it.
From a tiny seed, a mighty garden may grow. This is precisely what Ron Finley is aiming for as he kicks off the development of his Vermont Square Library garden project in South Los Angeles.
Finley, a South L.A. native, plans to turn the library’s yard into an open-air library beginning May 28, complete with string lights and swings hanging from the trees. The transformation will coincide with L.A. Design Festival, running through June 14. During the time, tutorials will provide instruction on how to make Adirondack chairs out of palettes, graffiti artists will paint murals on giant panels, and movies may be shown al fresco. [Read more…]
A roundup of recent news stories about South Los Angeles:
LA Weekly: In South L.A., Young Gay Black Men are Mired in Old Taboos — and HIV
KCET: Going green, the South L.A. way
The New Yorker: How Magic Johnson fought the AIDS epidemic
LA Weekly: A profile of Ron Finley, South L.A.’s “guerilla gardener”
LA Weekly: A profile of Gia Medley, “First-Generation Spitter” from South L.A.
LA Times: Food critic Jonathan Gold visits Tacos Los Poblanos in South L.A.
Environmental Protection Agency [Press Release]: The EPA has awarded the Los Angeles Conservation Corps $200,000 to continue providing “job training and skills to unemployed and economically-disadvantaged residents of South Los Angeles.”
Originally published on Neon Tommy.
Just a few weeks ago, Ron Finley was best known for his highly visible, and nutritious, acts of civil disobedience. To combat the growing problem of malnutrition facing many throughout South Los Angeles, the Crenshaw-based fashion designer planted gardens full of strawberries, dill, thyme and other edibles in unused parkways.
For his admirable efforts, which were against the Los Angeles’ “residential parkway landscaping guidelines” at the time, the city of Los Angeles issued a Finley a citation. The community joined Finley in appealing the citation. The matter was only dropped after the dispute generated enough media attention.
Finley took his story to TED talks in Long Beach, California earlier this year. The video of Finley’s presentation propelled the guerilla gardener to Internet stardom and generated over 1.5 million views. The talk also compelled the media into examining a bureaucratic system that viewed Finley’s agricultural endeavors as illegal. [Read more…]