What will $1 buy? 10.1.2011

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I read about two fantastic buys for a dollar today and I’d like them at my place.

In 1990, the City of Olympia in Washington, passed an ordinance designating that one dollar per person and one percent of major City construction projects be set aside for public art (from the Northwest Journal online). The photo on this page, a guide to Greater Seattle, of a sculpture (actually in Bellevue, not Olympia) is fantastic. I love this quote from the journal:

‘Public art creates livable cities. It enhances neighborhood identity. It strengthens tourism and economic development. It connects people to their environment and to each other.’

It would be great to have an online walk/bike/ride/drive guide to Newcastle’s public art.  I must look up our council’s public art policy. I can think of at least three developments that have been accompanied by (or will bring) new pieces which is fantastic. There’s a great one at Honeysuckle and I will no doubt grow to enjoy the sculpture at the old Royal Newcastle Hospital site.

The other dollar-dazzler is from Los Angeles. I read about this at a website called ‘ TreePeople‘:

‘Want to tear up that turf in front of your house? Well, thanks to a great collaboration between the City of Los Angeles, TreePeople, and LADWP, new parkway landscaping guidelines give you an option of 20 low water-use turf substitutes and groundcovers to plant in your parkway without needing a permit.

What is your parkway, you might ask? It’s that strip of grass between the roadside curb and the sidewalk. Maintaining and watering the grass in these narrow strips has been the cause of much consternation (ex. over-spraying sprinklers, unruly weeds and loud lawn mowers at 7 a.m.), but now you can save water and money by replacing your turf with one of 20 approved plant species.

And, if you are a City of Los Angeles resident and customer of LADWP, the Residential Turf Removal Program will pay $1 per square foot of grass removed from your property – parkway included.’

What a great idea.

And two other great ideas: I was reading a gardening/sustainability column over the weekend and two lines stayed with me: ‘if native birds aren’t setting up shop in your garden, something is wrong’ and ‘future generations will look back and think we were mad for watering grass’ . I’ll get back to you with the link.

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