Preserve Bothwell Ranch, The Last Commercial Orange Orchard in The San Fernando Valley
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My Hope: To see Bothwell Ranch remain a green space whether that be in the form of a Historic-Cultural Monument, community farm, educational center, local worm compost facility, city park/recreational area, and/or carbon offsetting project.
By signing this petition you are encouraging all of the following:
1) All 15 Los Angeles City Council Members to support Council Member Bob Blumenfield's motion to preserve Bothwell Ranch as a City Historic-Cultural Monument with a focus on preserving all 2,000 orange trees.
2) Mayor Eric Garcetti's Sustainability Office to research the environmental benefits of the 14 acre Bothwell Ranch located in the San Fernando Valley for the purposes of understanding how much soil carbon it captures, the wildlife (birds, bees, insects, etc.) that benefit from the property, and any other environmental benefits to determine if purchasing this property is aligned with the Mayor's Green New Deal plan which explicitly outlines the goal of "maintaining at least 90,000 trees by 2028."
3) The Bothwell family to donate the property in the form of a public green space, community farm, learning center, and/or compost facility to the City of Los Angeles, State of California, and/or local nonprofits such as TreePeople, Rootdown LA, and/or Kiss The Ground.
4) Mayor Garcetti and The Bothwell Family collaborating to determine the best way to save the property as a "green space" defined as an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an otherwise urban environment.
Please see below for background information on the Bothwell Ranch, why I care, and why I think you should too.
Background: The Bothwell Ranch is the last commercial orange grove in the San Fernando Valley and home to 2,000 Valencia Orange trees. It is located south of Ventura Blvd. on Oakdale Ave. in Woodland Hills and approximately 14 acres big and over 60 years old.
It's original owners Helen (Ann) Bothwell and Lindley Bothwell bought the property in 1926. They were in the agriculture business and well known for their old racing car collection as well as being active members in the University of Southern California community. They have passed on leaving the property in the hands of their three children. The Bothwell's quietly put their family farm on the market in April 2019 for $14.1 million. The most recent piece of press about the Bothwell Ranch was published by the LA Times in 1998, highlighting the troubles of local farming and the rising water costs.
Why I Care:
I am 26 years old and am doing everything in my power to raise awareness about solutions that can mitigate the effects of climate change. For the last seven years, personal and planetary health has been a passion of mine. Since graduating from Syracuse University in 2015, I have worked for environmental-focused organizations such as Kiss The Ground and The Years Project to name a few.
I grew up a short walk away from the Bothwell Ranch and always admired the greenery and abundance of birds and bees I would see along its fences. In the springtime, the blossoming orange trees create a distinct floral scent the entire community can enjoy. Such fresh air is hard to come by in an urban metropolis like Los Angeles.
Without a doubt, we desperately need all the "green space" we can get in Los Angeles and, thankfully, our Mayor agrees that trees are critical to combating air pollution and balancing the carbon cycle, which is needed to mitigate (slow down) the effects of climate change.
On April 29th, Mayor Garcetti shared his Green New Deal proposition for the City of Los Angeles, an update to the Sustainable City pLAn. One of the "accelerated goals and new targets" listed in the Green New Deal is, "Planting and maintaining at least 90,000 trees - which will provide 61 million square feet of shade - citywide by 2021 and increasing tree canopy in low-income, severely heat impacted areas by at least 50% by 2028."
Preserving Bothwell Ranch as a green space is critical for the Woodland Hills/Tarzana community as this area is severely impacted by heat. I assume the tree canopy helps local bird populations, which are needed to combat effects of climate change such as invasion of mosquitos, etc.
Scientists around the world have agreed that green spaces have a positive effect on mental health.
TreePeople, an LA-based nonprofit, claims that trees raise property value, muffle sounds from nearby highways, and provide a habitat for wildlife.
Why Every Resident of The City of Los Angeles Should Care:
We need all the green spaces we can get in our #smogcity as trees can directly improve air quality by filtering out pollutants. We know air pollution doesn't just negatively impact our lungs, but it also strains our hearts and brains (Moms Clean Air Force). Also trees serve a critical role in balancing the carbon cycle, which is desperately needed in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.
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