LAVC Urban Forest Master Plan
In 2010, Steinberg Architects completed the 2010 Update to the 2003 Valley College Facilities Master Plan. As part of the master plan update, SWA Group developed the Landscape Master Plan and Guidelines which provided a strategic framework for future campus development projects. One of the core principles of the updated master plan was that of sustainability.
The College has made a commitment to incorporate new sustainable practices and measure to limit the college’s environmental footprint. The Measure J Urban Forest Master Plan [PDF] is a direct result of this commitment and will serve as a datum for the existing urban forest [PDF] and a guidebook for the future growth of the LAVC Urban Forest. The Urban Forest Master Plan will provide the college with an all encompassing resource in the preservation, restoration and regeneration of their invaluable asset.
For more than 60 years, Los Angeles Valley College has occupied the 100+ acre site bordering the Tujunga Wash in Valley Glen, CA. In addition to the educational function, the campus is also used for special events and serves as a recreational facility for the surrounding community. LAVC’s community relationships are further strengthened as the campus is home to the Los Angeles Valley College Historical Museum. The campus’ urban forest is not only a vital part of LAVC’s identity, its stature is equally important for the surrounding community. Preservation of this valuable asset is crucial both to the community and the College.
The health and condition of the various mature and newly planted trees on campus have been evaluated [PDF] to aid in the planning process. The future health of the trees will depend on protecting them during any construction process, providing a suitable environment for their future growth and providing proper maintenance.
Through careful research, it has been determined that the trees of Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) are a significant asset to the College. While all trees age, eventually decline, and die, proper care can extend their useful life. It has been determined that most of the trees were planted at approximately the same time period during significant construction phases for the campus. With the amount of construction that LAVC will undergo in the upcoming years from Measure J monies, the next generation’s urban forest will likely begin within the next few years. Having a strategic plan for such future development will help define tomorrow’s campus.
Professional research has indicated that there are no endangered species of trees on this campus despite the large quantity of trees growing here. The campus has continually evolved through various building and management programs, leading to a mixture of large mature trees. The majority of the trees that comprise the Urban Forest and within this report are non-native exotic species trees, except for several California Live Oaks, Quercus agrifolia, California sycamore, Platanus racemosa.