Friday, September 5, 2008

Guerrilla Garden, Silver Lake Ave.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 8, 2008. Silver Lake Ave. between the Red Car Property and Riverside Place. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

A mostly Mediterranean guerrilla garden grows on the 30' wide "paper street"* of Silver Lake Ave. A neighbor was fed up with the trash dumping, dog poop and graffiti in the City-owned and neglected slope next to his home. About ten years ago, he began planting the area defensively with plants that can hurt you. The same neighbor routinely paints out the graffiti on the Silver Lake Ave. staircase, tends the garden and picks up trash dumped on the adjacent Red Car Property. Today, it is the most well-kept, publicly-owned, unofficial open space in the neighborhood.

* "Paper streets" exist on the City mapbooks, but not in reality, although the City still owns the land. The hillsides have dozens of streets laid out in the early part of the 20th Century, but were never paved due to their steep grade. Most were developed as public staircases and walkways for access to the Red Car Trolley system. Currently, the City will not build a paper street if it has more than a 15% grade.