The Water Articles by Tom Grode

Operation Healthy Streets crew, Oct. 2013

Operation Healthy Streets crew, Oct. 2013, pic by Tom Grode

Water. The human body is composed mainly of water.

Water. A Japanese scientist conducted an experiment and discovered a water molecule subjected to discordant sounds and harsh words results in murky color and jagged edges while a water molecule subjected to relaxing music and pleasant words results in clear beautiful colors and smooth edges.

Water. Religions and cultures worldwide employ water as symbol and ritual for cleansing and baptism.

Water. The place we spent the first part of our life.

Water Article Number One: Operation Healthy Streets

If you were walking along the streets of Skid Row and someone said Operation Healthy Streets, you might think it was a multi-dimensional vision of what could be.  And you would be right.

But for the moment Operation Healthy Streets is the name for the city “streets of Skid Row” emergency clean-up program in response to a County Health Report.  Operation Healthy Streets is still operating, witnessed by the above powerwashing.

A multi-dimensional vision.  If the cities emergency response and now ongoing street maintenance is one dimension of Operation  Healthy Streets, what are some others?  One other dimension in the multi would definitely be trees.

Industrial District Green’s project-in-development is planting trees along Seventh Street, the border of Skid Row and the Fashion District.  Seventh Street (nicknamed Seventh Heaven) is also waiting for the bike lane that already goes through the rest of DTLA and currently stops at Main Street, the western border of Skid Row according to a Federal court in 2006, to complete it’s journey by going through Skid Row, the Arts District, ending at Boyle Heights.

A major delay in the bike lane is now inevitable with shifting traffic due to the Sixth Street Bridge construction.  Bike lane advocates are waiting to see how much of the Seventh Heaven bike lane will need to be delayed.  Continuing the bike lane through Skid Row would take it from Main to perhaps Alameda.

Trees are healthy on streets.  Bikes are healthy on streets.  What else is healthy on streets?

Since this article is about water, it’s time to stop talking about those who use oil.

Trees need water and they need to be watered for a long time.  In Los Angeles, a long time is five years because it takes that long before the roots go deep enough to access the water table.  Then the tree can take care of itself.

That’s a good analogy for Skid Row. Historically, Skid Row is a place where people go who need serious help.  Years of help so those newly planted seeds can take root and the roots go deep enough to where the person can take care of themselves.

A goal of Industrial District Green is to hire the homeless as “tree ambassadors” to water and nurture the newly planted trees.  Industrial District Green is warm and fuzzy so they just gently note the city doesn’t have money in their budget to care for newly planted trees.

However, I’m not part of Industrial District Green and so I feel no responsibility to be warm and fuzzy.  For the city not to budget caring for the trees is dysfunctional at best if not scandalous.  Okay, there are financial issues at play.  Perhaps the County would like to partner with the City and water her for five years.

If you’d like to donate money to help take care of trees, good.  If you’d like to donate money to provide jobs for the homeless, that’s good.  But if you’d like to donate money to hire the homeless to take care of trees, CLICK HERE.

By Tom Grode

Blogger’s note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Trees on San Pedro Street Project editrix, Ms. McNenny. This is a Community improvement blog and not faith-based.


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