The project, which will revitalize over 50,000 square feet of highly visible landscape, was made possible through a Long Beach Water Department program that seeks to remove grass lawns in favor of California-friendly plants and gardens. The funding is being used by a local recruiting unit of the California State Military Reserve (CSMR), led by First Sgt. Jerry Shultz, a former Long Beach city councilmember and active member of the CSMR.
“The Armory is the last thing our National Guard soldiers see when they deploy from Long Beach to go to war, and it is the first thing they see when they return home,” Shultz said. “My dream is for it to be the most beautiful Armory in the nation.”
Once complete, the project will achieve recognition as the single-largest turf-removal project in Long Beach, according to the water department. While the third phase of the project will eliminate approximately 53,000 square feet of grass, the first and second phases removed 1,000 and 7,200 square feet, respectively, adding up to more than 60,000 square feet of landscape that will be transformed at the National Guard facility.
“We commend First Sergeant Shultz and his staff for undertaking this wonderful project,” said John Allen, president of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. “Not only will the new landscape be beautiful and inspiring to all those who see it, but it will also improve the reliability of our local water supplies here in Long Beach.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completed project is planned for later in the fall. The water department also plans to hold a separate ceremony in November to recognize the completion of the city’s 1,000th Lawn-to-Garden Project.
Source: LB Water