Our local Fire Station 29, at the corner of Norton Avenue and Wilshire Blvd., will get a new look with a new garden to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the station. A ground breaking was held on Saturday, May 12, Los Angeles Fire Department’s Fire Service Day, with leadership from the Los Angeles Fire Department, City Council Member David Ryu, and local donors who supported the project, which is estimated to cost about $85,000.
Lyn MacEwen Cohen, founder of the First-In Fire Foundation, who spearheaded the fundraising for the new garden and other improvement for the fire station, welcomed everyone to the ceremony noting that it has taken a long time to come to this day. Her passion for honoring firefighters and other first responders began immediately following 911, explained Cohen. Calling the fire station, “common ground where the community can come together,” Cohen said she hopes the “handsome garden of red, white and blue” will also be a demonstration garden for the community, showing how to use drought tolerant, native plants.
The new garden will also feature a dry riverbed, to spread out rainfall so it can be absorbed into the ground instead of running into the storm drains. The plants will drought-tolerant Mediterranean and California natives, which will support the ecosystem, explained Julie Grist, member of the Hancock Park Garden Club. The Club donated $25,000 to the First-In Fire Foundation to fund the construction of the garden.
Deputy Chief Philip Fligiel presented the award of Honorary Fire Chief 2018 to Lyn Cohen in appreciation for her work to support local fire stations. CD4 Council Member David Ryu presented a Los Angeles City Council Certificate of Recognition to Cohen and her husband Mark, in appreciation for their leadership.
Ryu also presented certificates to Hancock Park Garden Club President Jennifer Fain and members Helen Hartung and Julie Grist, garden designer Rebecca Schwaner of Studio-MLA, and Janet Loveland and Sue Carr of Loveland Carr Real Estate.
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and 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.