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Signs of a native spring can be found in the vacant lot on the corner of Kenyon and Kemper streets in the Midway District. According to a sign posted at the site, the San Diego Community College District planted native, low-growing, and drought-tolerant grasses on their West City Campus property to help protect against soil erosion. The various plantings are listed on the sign.

The windy corner next to a busy Vons shopping center is providing a nature experience for the congested neighborhood, with lots of birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds visiting the plot.

The "sustainable, self-regenerating natural erosion control solution" may not last long, as a "For Lease" sign is also posted on the property.

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Twister April 25, 2012 @ 8:38 p.m.

This is all very well, but I look forward to more information about what actually happens.

It will be interesting to learn which and how many of the "native" plants actually grow and reproduce. Such projects, while sincerely well-intentioned, often fail to deliver on the promise implied by their initial publicity.

The "shotgun" approach of buying a bunch of "native" seeds and sowing them as a publicity stunt is common and next to motherhood in unassailability, but not without its down sides. For example, a few of the plants on the list are not even native to this hemisphere, much less to this site. And it is likely that fewer still, while "native" to someplace within the political boundaries of California, may not be well-enough adapted to the site to survive, much less reproduce and form viable populations on the site.

Better that the list of "native" plants were smaller, limited to those actually native to that locale or those ecologically identical or comparable to it, so that the others which have no chance are not wasted. Cheaper too.

The seeds of most native plants sold by seed companies are taken from the wild (some are grown like crops, and these would be preferable to wild-collected ones). When seeds are collected from the wild, those seeds, or more to the point, their absence, affect the ecosystem from which they were taken. Some such collecting may be unlawful.

This is just one isolated case, so "no harm done?" Probably, but when such cases are multiplied all over the state, the practice should be considered at least questionable. Especially when a little more thought could make a better project for "the environment" and more effective at lower cost.

Still, it beats a lot of alternatives that used to be common in the past. It's just not as good as it could have been.

PS: Is this not publicly-owned property? Is it being sold or leased as "surplus?"


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