Troubling Element Number Five
Harvard Westlake’s Application for Their Sports Campus
This is the fifth in our ongoing weekly series of News & Notes that explores key parts of the Harvard Westlake Sports Campus Application at the Weddington Golf & Tennis location.
200 mature trees will be cut down and removed along Valleyheart Drive and on the Weddington site to build the Harvard Westlake Sports Campus. There is no plan to relocate any of these mature trees on-site or have them placed in temporary storage to be replanted upon completion of construction. The proposal is to replace 200 mature trees with trees that will take 20+ years to reach maturity.
Harvard-Westlake: “As compared to existing conditions, the Project will have a higher rate of and greater capacity for carbon sequestration.” But no timeline stated to achieve this “higher rate of and greater capacity for carbon sequestration”
But why should anyone care about carbon sequestration? According to the USGS, “carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of reducing global climate change.” (https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/what-carbon-sequestration)
HW is removing a large number of Blue Gum Eucalyptus because they are not California native. But destroying these trees because they are “non-native” does not justify blanket cutting down purely on the basis that they are “Not Native.”
The California Invasive Plant Council considers the Blue Gum to be of limited invasiveness. Further research indicates this species is excellent for carbon sequestration: they store and sequester more carbon than other eucalyptus. This species lives for over 400-600 years, provides excellent wildlife habitat, control particulate pollution, provide sound control, and are excellent at slowing water run-off.
When HW is removing so many mature established trees while at the same time replacing grass with artificial turf, how many years, measured in decades, will it take before the purported benefit is realized more so than what is there right now?
* The above is based on the initial Application filed with the Department of City Planning by Harvard Westlake. We will keep you updated as the process moves forward.
We welcome your comments and encourage you to forward this email to your friends and neighbors. If you have any questions, please email us at SaveOpenSpace2020@gmail.com and we will respond to you.
If you have missed any of these weekly emails, you can find our series of emails here on our website.
The Harvard Westlake Sports Campus has the potential of disrupting the residential area around it and impacting already notorious traffic patterns. Save LA River and the Studio City Residents Association are seeking the best result possible and, we are looking for volunteers for specific areas:
o Use your contact list to notify your neighbors
o Help put out lawn signs / distribute flyers
o Create graphics for flyers
o Expertise in technology
o AND any other talent that you can bring to the table
For information and updates visit www.savelariveropenspace.org
Next week: TENNIS COURTS