Elysian Park Campaign Aims to Stop Visitors from Tampering with Trees


ELYSIAN PARK - The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks is posting flyers around three separate areas, urging park-goers to refrain from watering and tampering with newly-planted saplings that are part of a pilot project to grow the urban forest, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell announced today.

The Department’s Urban Forestry Division reports that someone is tampering with the young trees in the pilot project and urging people to add water. Councilmember O’Farrell says this could be problematic.

“We planted three hundred trees around Elysian Park using an innovative technology called a ‘cocoon’ which holds water and slowly feeds it to the tree over the course of a year,” said O’Farrell. “These trees do not need additional water, in fact doing so could harm the process.

Although it may be difficult to watch a sapling die, it is critical to learn from the survival rate of the cocoons planted for this pilot program to be effective.”

The Department as well as City Plants are keeping a close watch on the program, and is urging park-goers to refrain from caring for the trees on their own.

“Many different partners have come together to invest in the next generation of LA’s trees,” said Elizabeth Skrzat, Executive Director for City Plants. “We need to understand how well the Cocoons perform in Los Angeles so that we can plan for future plantings throughout the City.”

“The Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park is urging our neighbors and visitors alike to please admire the saplings from afar,”  said Philip Murphy, president of the CCSEP. “ This project is extremely important to the health and longevity of our urban forest.”

Late last year, Councilmember O’Farrell, City Plants, the Department of Water & Power and the Department of Recreation and Parks partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation and Boise Project UP to plant three hundred trees in Elysian Park using Land Life Cocoons, an innovative, biodegradable technology that has the ability to store and provide water to young trees for up to a year.   If this approach proves successful, the pilot could go citywide and help the City refresh the urban forest in a sustainable manner.

The Department of Recreation of Parks will post signs around the park asking people to not touch or water the trees. The signs will also have a QR code and a number to the Forestry Division within the Department of Recreation and Parks for more information. Those wanting to learn more can call at (213) 485-4826 or visit  http://tinyurl.com/cocoonpilot.

PHOTO: The Eastsider LA