Taft High School Students Enjoy Benefits of Beautification Project

The popular corner of Ventura Blvd and Winnetka Ave is now a lot more comfortable for the Taft High School students who congregate there after school while waiting for the many buses that service the location.

Rose bushes, benches, new sidewalk surfacing, a mounted trash can and, best of all, an “Econo-Green Syngrass” to cover the former dirt patch that simply wouldn’t hold grass because of the significant foot traffic.

The project was spearheaded by Woodland Hills Community Beautification Activist Marion Lovelace and WHWCNC Director of Community Services Heath Kline, both of whom are tireless advocates of beautification projects that improve the quality of life in the neighborhood by encouraging a more walkable and enjoyable environment.

Marion and Heath partnered with the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council as well as with Kelly Rogers, Taft Complex Project Manager and Taft High School Principal Sharon Thomas.

Heath reports that he drove by the school the other day, stopping behind a Rapid bus directly in front of the project for a few minutes. “In that time, I saw a dozen kids sitting on our new benches in the shade of the big tree on the corner, I saw kids “dunking” things into our new trash can that would have previously ended up on the ground and there were at least 50 kids standing or frolicking on the synthetic grass Encono-Green installed in what was a previously, as you know, a huge dust bowl, where nothing could grow because of the daily swarm of kids stampeding or milling about the bus stops.

All of this took place in front of the beautiful rose bushes planted along the parking lot edge. It was as lovely a scene as we could ever hope to see east of Eden or Disneyland, and certainly not what is the norm along our city streets or in front of a LAUSD high school. This is a model for our goal of making Woodland Hills a more pedestrian friendly and walkable community.”

Beautification Project completed

L-R, Front to Back
Marion Lovelace, WH Community Beautification Activist
Sharon Thomas, Principal Taft High School, LAUSD
Kelly Rogers, Taft Complex Project Manager, LAUSD
Heath Kline, Director of Community Services, WHWCNC

Left to Right
Gary Kozlowski, Econo-Green Syngrass, of Thousand Oaks
Heath Kline, Director of Community Services, WHWCNC
Sharon Thomas, Principal Taft High School, LAUSD
Marion Lovelace, WH Community Beautification Activist

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One response to “Taft High School Students Enjoy Benefits of Beautification Project

  1. costelloandabbott

    Interesting story- and the effort and goals of the beautification people- those trying to do some good in the community should be applauded- however….

    A quick check of the individuals and names you mentioned as being the “artificial turf company” that installed this fake turf shows no listing for a valid California State Contractor’s License- it is not legal to install artificial grass in California without a valid contractor’s license, and the applicable insurances.

    In addition, if this project is on LA Unified property, it must be approved by LA Unified and go through the proper channels- doubt very much that happened here!

    Finally, I drove by and looked at it tonight- it is all matted down in the area right behind the park benches- and the grass is not even installed properly- you can lift it right up all around the edges- and it has no fill in it, despite the fact that it apparently needs fill

    This type of product is not at all something that is designed specifically for a high traffic area such as this- in fact, it is absolutely covered in footprints and it is a very odd looking super dark green- kind of like green colored Barney Fur.

    For that type of area, you should have installed a 100% nylon product- like those used in areas like the WYNN Hotel, or at Disneyland’s Innovation Home of the Future for example.

    Or, a beautiful state of the art product like the multi colored products used on residential projects- they would have matched the natural grass already in the area.

    This stuff looks nothing like the grass around it- and is so easily and readily identifiable as fake turf.

    A little research will help interested people figure out where to get better looking and better quality products more suited to the intended use. just google “synthetic grass” or “artificial grass” and you will find the major manufacturers in the organic results, not the paid ads- that’s where you will find all these “installers” who sell no name products under a made up name.

    Products such as this should be purchased from manufacturers who install and it should be installed by licensed contractors with years of experience- that’s the best way to ensure that you are getting a real quality product and a real warranty with something behind it besides a promise.

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