LARA members gathered at the City of Los Angeles LASAN Environmental Learning Center for the 1st Quarterly Board Meeting 2015. Prior to the meeting was a tour of the ELC. The interactive tour was fun and enlightening .
Here are excerpts from a 1st time visitor, Joseph Akinwale:
“Our tour guide was the ELC Director. He provided an abundance of information that really made our tour unique. Our first stop was at a model kitchen & living room constructed using recycled materials and refurbished appliances. The idea was to show how sustainable practices can be incorporated inside the home. Even the carpet was made from recycled content materials!
We were then led to a large exhibit that detailed how the City of Los Angeles handles the recyclables collected from the City. The exhibit showed the different materials before and after processing. Several games based on recycling trivia were spread across the exhibit floor. A scale model of a refuse collection truck was present; several LARA members took advantage of a photo opportunity. LARA members took sides to compete in a video game that simulated a sorting belt inside of a recycling center.
Our tour headed downstairs to the “wet” part of the ELC, the water exhibits. Our first stop was a model of the City’s wastewater treatment facilities. The Hyperion Treatment Plant is the largest of the six treatment plants spread across the City of LA. Not far from this scale model was a large cylinder that holds 120 gallons of water. The cylinder was a symbol to show the average amount of water an Angeleno uses in one day; a very uncomfortable fact in the midst of the worst drought California has seen.
The rest of the time was spent with and array of exhibits that told of the City’s approach to water management. We learned that the City has one system of pipes for storm water and another set of pipes for wastewater. Wastewater is treated at any of the six wastewater treatment plants, while storm water goes straight to the ocean (be careful what you place by a storm drain). These pipes can be as large as 12 feet in diameter! Our guide told us that Los Angeles imports about 88% percent of its water. The city’s goal is to reduce this amount to 50% by 2025.
The sight of LARA members learning, smiling, taking pictures, and playing games, was a clear sign that the tour was worth while. If you want to visit the Environmental Learning Center, free group tours are offered. Please visit http://san.lacity.org/elc/schedule/index.htm to schedule a tour date.”