Dear Colleagues/Honorable Directors:
Regretfully, I am unable to attend the June Board of Directors meeting. I did, however, wish to express my support of Director Koretz’s motion to use California Native Plants along the Expo Phase II alignment to the fullest extent possible. I would further recommend that the CEO be directed to review the proposed California native landscape palette for Phase II provided by the Theodore Payne Foundation and report back to our Board on the feasibility of implementing a complete California native landscaping package.
California native plants provide benefits that exceed those of drought-tolerant and non-native species. Native plants use less water and less fertilizer, which ultimately reduces the amount of contaminants that drain into the Santa Monica Bay. In addition, California native plants support local insect and bird species, providing food and nesting sites for native species that have been in decline.
The Theodore Payne Foundation, a local foundation that promotes the preservation of California native flora, has graciously provided an alternative landscape palette which wholly incorporates California native plants into the Exposition Phase 2 landscape design. Staff should take the opportunity to review the proposed native landscaping palette and report back on the opportunities for incorporating a wholly native landscape palette.
The success of Exposition Phase II will be judged not just by the transit benefits provided but by the way the project is woven into the fabric of the communities through which it passes. Careful attention to detail will ensure that both transit patrons and our local communities see the best return on the $1.5 billion investment they have made.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide these comments. I look forward to our continued collaboration on the construction of Exposition Phase II.