BY SHANA LIVIGNI
BLOOD – Johnny Blood is a resident of La Crescenta and attends Rosemont Middle School. After listening to him explain his project with the Boy Scouts, It is hard to believe he is only 13 years old. This project was to help him receive the Eagle Scout’s ‘Life Rank’ – the highest position of scouting. He started his project back in April, after noticing the 194 ft. strip of dirt lining the area between the sidewalk and the stone wall north of Rosemont. Johnny did his research and worked with about ten officials in the area to help undertake this project professionally. Last week, the project came to fruition with the help of over 60 volunteers.
SWEAT – Johnny and some volunteers raised $175 in one weekend by doing yard work and cleaning up pine needles at neighbor’s homes. When everything was ready to go, after four months and around 75 hours of planning, meetings, calls, e-mails and research, the day came to begin the process of roto-tilling, digging, adding topsoil and planting a variety of native California drought-friendly plants, bushes and trees. The volunteers worked hard – some brought donuts, snacks and water. Others donated their time and expertise to the gardening project.
CHEERS – Johnny met up with so many people to make this dream come true. Kudos to:
Steve Pierce, CV Town Council president; Paul Rabinov, chair, CV Town Council “Clean and Green” Committee; Richard Toyon, landscape architect who volunteered his time to help with the design and donated different plants for different seasons. Christy Scott and CV Water District who helped coordinate CVWD logistics.
Bent Hansen, former Scoutmaster and David Blood, current scoutmaster (and dad). The CV Water Department donated the roto-tiller, top soil and the water drip system. Johnny also received help from people at Theodore Payne Foundation, which is an organization dedicated to California native plants.
He spent the $175 he and his friends raised to pre-purchase the plants, learned how to plant, water, protect and maintain them. With the unexpected local fires, he is even more adamant about educating people to be more aware of conserving water and replanting the hillsides with drought-friendly plants.
Each species of these native California plants along this strip of land on Rosemont Avenue is labeled with its official name and its common name. He feels that this will show people how beautiful these plants and trees are. He’s come up with educational packets (designed by Michael Johnson and himself) featuring crossword puzzles and word searches for the kids. Blood will be bringing these packets to the local elementary schools to get kids into this mindset. A fun fact from Johnny: “The Hollywood sign was named after the native California Holly Tree. That’s the tree with the beautiful red berries.” Johnny Blood has passion for the environment. Feel free to bring your kids and friends to check out the growth and beauty he and the volunteers have given this ignored plot of land – that is, of course, till Johnny came along. For more info you can email Johnny at firstname.lastname@example.org.