Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Highland Avenue Median Mowed!

Before and after photos of the historic Highland Avenue median that was mowed over the weekend after months of neglect, thanks to efforts of CD4 staff, city workers and the Hancock Park Homeowners Association.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association and some creative thinking on the part of City Council Member David Ryu’s staff, at last, the Highland Avenue historic median is looking tidy again.

In a message entitled “Highland Median Clean and Green! Thank you Councilman David Ryu!” that was addressed to “Hancock Park Residents & all who live/drive/bike/walk on Highland Ave,” Hancock Park Homeowners Association President Cindy Chvatal-Keane wrote, “thanks to our Councilmember David Ryu, his staff and the HPHOA’48 we found a way to clean and mow the Median. Despite the pandemic-caused furloughs, budget cuts and expired contracts, we all thought a bit outside the box and made a plan. Over the weekend the City and the Community worked together and our mile and a half green space was transformed.”

Chvatal told the Buzz they were seriously considered hiring a small herd of goats to do the job, as they did for the area around Angeles Flight, but it turns out the grass was too much even for the goats. However, she’s investigating the idea for maintenance going forward.

Maintaining local green spaces has been frustrating during the pandemic, but Chvatal-Keane isn’t one to give up easily. She told the Buzz that Ryu has been a great partner for Hancock Park, providing resources to trim the neighborhoods mature trees and allow the association to plant new ones.

“Councilmember David Ryu is committed to finding ways fight Climate Change,” wrote Chvatal-Keane in her message to residents. “Protecting the City’s green space, preserving our mature trees and increasing our Urban Tree Canopy have all grown under his leadership. His motions have restored the Urban Forestry Division’s staffing levels, created a citywide street tree inventory and urban forest management plan, addressed the City’s tree maintenance and replacement policy, and analyzed new sidewalk designs that consider the need to preserve the City’s street trees.”

Last year, the association planted one dozen new Washingtonia palm trees in the Highland Avenue Median along with more than a hundred new parkway trees through out the neighborhood, reflecting the neighborhood’s leadership in adding to the city’s urban forest.

“As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global heating. New research estimates that a worldwide planting program could remove two-thirds of all the emissions from human activities that remain in the atmosphere today, a figure the scientists describe as “mind-blowing”! reported Chvatal-Keane to residents, reminding them why the association is spending resources on trees and maintenance. “As trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Trees provide benefits to us, every day. The more we plant as a City the better!”

Fall is the time to plant and the Association is preparing to add more trees to the neighborhood. Residents who want a tree planted in their parkway this fall should contact the association. Thanks to the HPHOA for providing photos of the work in progress.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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  1. Thanks Patty.
    You got this article out fast!
    I was kind of enjoying the fairly uniform mangy look, but the cut look is much improved.

  2. Amazing of all the hoopla over cutting some grass which took them two days using Industrial Lawn Mowers that suck up the cut grass!! I could have done it in 1 day sitting on an old John Deer Tractor listening to some Bob Segar.
    As I drove up and down Highland Saturday and Sunday I wondered why there were SO SLOW! I would love to see the actual cost of all of the manpower that was there!! It is the City Of Los Angeles job to do that but because we have such a poorly run city that is rife with mismanagement and this is being made like it is the second coming of Jesus!
    You are applauding a Councilman because he got some grass cut! Why doesn’t he do something about the homeless, salary cuts for city employees, the defecation in the streets or all businesses closing and never going to reopen again.
    The Politicians that run City Government are a joke who only care about the Big Corporations and not the “Little People.” People are starting to notice and I for one will now begin calling out BS when I see it. Let them go shovel their manure somewhere else!

  3. This is so great! It does seem a little silly that getting a parkway mowed is such a big deal, but it makes me happy that it got done anyway. I love the idea of planting more trees too. Thank you for adding a little joy to my life!

  4. I’m with Stephen. The meadow look was stating to grow on me, but the clean look is nice. Now that mom and her two kids that sell flowers don’t have to trudge through the weeds to make their sales.
    Curious as to what the creative idea was to get it funded?


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