EXPO Line Safari!

submission by stephanielandregan
EXPO Line Safari!

About Your Organization

Organization name(s):

UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program

Organization website:


Organization Twitter handle:


Organization Facebook page:


Describe your organization (check only one):

Nonprofit organization

For-profit organization



Please describe yourself (check only one):

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.


To rebrand the Expo Metro Line and expose the natural world of LA, the Ballona watershed, the Pacific FlyWay and make the ride an adventure.



The UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program works to provide design solutions that make Los Angeles more livable, green and beautiful.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County? Check only one.

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Yes (benefits a population of LA County)


Please write a sample tweet to describe your submission.


Help create EXPO Safari! discover exotic and raucous parrot flocks, masked raccoons, and ancient waterways@LandArch_UCLAx

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit? Check all that apply.

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay





The Expo line originates in downtown Los Angeles, and then ends in Santa Monica and the Ocean! It travels through inland to coastal climatic zones, and habitat. The Expo Safari line travels the path of the undergrounded braided river bed of Ballona Creek, the drainage conduit to the Ballona Watershed! Tree canopies provide flyways, habitat and bird rest stops that connect the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek into a continuous system for migrating birds as part of the Pacific Flyway. EXPO Safari will make the “urban wild” visible and provide visual and digital opportunities for riders along the Expo Line to interact with nature and each other as citizen scientists!

What will you do to implement this idea/project?


In the spirit of Safari 7, a self-guided tour of urban animal life along New York City’s No. 7 subway line, UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program proposes a natural/urban animal life safari along the Expo Line: Expo Safari! An ecological interpretation of Los Angeles while traveling on the Metro Expo Line. UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Students and instructors will work with Metro, the Supervisorial Districts, the cities along the Expo line, the school systems, and other partners to create a natural trail experience of the EXPO Metro’s ride from city center to the sea.

The Once and Future Ballona Creek.
The Expo Safari line travels the path of the undergrounded braided river bed of Ballona Creek, the drainage conduit to the Ballona Watershed! The Safari will explain the watershed, its importance, the history of urban development and the resulting filling and reduction of the Ballona Creek and its continuing importance and vibrancy, providing habitat and food for migratory birds.

Urban wildlife is hidden and many creatures live underground, such as possums, rats, raccoons, moles, and snakes. Subways and pipelines provide habitat for much of this subterranean wildlife.

Connections to Exposition Park and the LA County Natural History Museum provide opportunities to explore the natural past of California, and the new Botanical Gardens have wonderful displays of California’s native plants, and ecosystems.

Tree canopies provide flyways, habitat and bird rest stops that connect the LAs River and Ballona Creek into a continuous system for migrating birds. Above ground are shorebirds, waterfowl, songbirds and raptors that feed, rest and winter in Southern California. Ducks, hawks, redwing blackbirds, as well as Canada geese, seagulls and snowy plovers are among the many species of birds that can be seen along Expo Safari as it passes through a portion of the Pacific Flyway.

Making the “urban wild” of LA visible provides opportunities for schools along the Metro Line to interact with nature. To encourage schools and students to participate, “Field Guides” will be developed and an “Expo Safari! Field Guide Book” (mobile app to be developed), containing information and images of the animals and habitat that are along the route and sections for the recording of animals seen and experienced. The field guides will be uploaded to a Facebook page : “Field Work: Expo Safari!”, that will showcase citizen scientists discoveries.



So much of Los Angeles has displaced nature in the development of the metroplex. There are many opportunities to show the layers of LA, the past, the underground or unseen, the other creatures that call Los Angeles home. Taking a transportation route and exposing the scenic and natural processes enriches the experiences of the riders, and the understanding of the natural world where we live.

Using the Safari, as an exploration, and creating field guides and citizen scientists who record nature and become aware of these interconnections is just one of the possibilities for the Expo Line “Safari”. This UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture program will work with students, naturalists, artists and metro riders to create an extraordinary experience of nature along the Los Angeles Metro Expo Line.

Upon implementation, the template could be applied to the other Metro lines: Gold (the Cornfields and LA River), Blue (Augustus F. Hawkins Park and LA Port), etc., creating a network of nature and transportation opportunities.



EXPO Safari will benefit schools in Los Angeles, Culver City, and Santa Monica by providing a fun scientific expedition using public transportation and exposing these students to the natural process and nature in Los Angeles.

EXPO Safari will increase ridership along the EXPO line, by weaving the Natural History Museum, Gardens, Ballona Creek, into the Safari experience and engaging riders to explore areas along the route.

EXPO Safari will benefit the wildlife we share our space with, by creating an understanding of tree canopies, bird migration, the value of wildlife in our city.

EXPO Safari has the potential to create future botanists, biologists, zoologists, park rangers, hikers and a citizenry that is excited to explore outside the confines of a train, to see more of the world, to learn more and to experience nature.

EXPO Safari will benefit our Landscape Architecture students in understanding that design is a collaborative process.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.


LA County Natural History Museum's scientists and gardens create a synergy between the past and the present natural history of LA.

We will be working with Science teachers in the various schools along the route. Working together to create a curriculum that is vibrant with urban wildlife. Our Landscape Architecture program has worked with various schools in Los Angeles County on service projects and learning curriculum.

METRO is an essential partner in allowing signage and

Critical factors
In our past collaboration, success has depended on: 1) strong public outreach – on the ground level at the schools as well as at agencies; 2) clear understanding of timeline and abilities of students; 3) the ability to share our strengths and leverage partnerships and resources for students and our work.

How will your project impact the LA2050 "CONNECT" metrics?

Rates of volunteerism

Voting rates by race

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Median travel time to work

Attendance at cultural events

Number of public transit riders

Participation in neighborhood councils

Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)

Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located within a half-mile of transit) (Dream Metric)

Total number of social media friends (Dream Metric)

Attendance at public/open street gatherings (Dream Metric)

Residential segregation (Dream Metric)

Access to free wifi (Dream Metric)


If other, please specify.:

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.:

Public transportation becomes more than a "ride" by becoming an "adventure". The EXPO Safari is a cultural event, and will celebrate migration of birds, seasons of the year, and create a Facebook page that connects Angelenos to nature and each other.

Students in UCLA Extension Program receive a certificate that meets the education requirement to sit for licensure in the state of California.


LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

LA is the best place to PLAY



Through our FIeld Guide, and Facbook page we will be able to track individual activity an reach.

We will provide evaluations for digital app and feedback so that we can monitor the free downloads and implement suggestions or improvements.

Through the school downloads, we will follow up at the end of the school year to gather information on the success and suggestions on improvements and other features.



Students who use multi media are not aware of nature. Using digital media we will create a digital program to engage our digital students in the nature of Los Angeles.

Much of the natural beauty of LA is undiscovered. Providing views and stories into other layers of LA through a mobile application and interpretive graphics at the Metro stations and on trains, and digital venues will create a better understanding and awareness of nature.

This model of success is fully documented in SAFARI 7, which was implemented in New York on the Queens Line #7. We are basing our templates on this successful model of education on transit through mobile apps and graphic displays.

Explain how implementing your project in the next twelve months is an achievable goal.


The UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program recently completed the Green Alleys Project with Jefferson High School students, and have worked with the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation on their regional park master plan. We recently completed working with the City of LA Bureau of Sanitation on applying and creating low impact development solutions along the Tujunga Wash, to reduce TMDL’s at tributaries to reduce the cumulative pollutants at confluences. All these projects were done within the timeframe of a quarter class.

Our independent study class will cover three quarters and include our landscape architecture, design graphics, and interior design students working with LAUSD students, teachers and scientists.

Metro grants are available to incorporate arts and sciences and we are in the process of applying as a match.

The UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program has met all deliverables and timelines within the last 4 years of service project classes.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?


1. Class participants vary in skills, knowledge and learning levels. We will provide outside assistance in areas where we have the need. This also provide more learning opportunities to our students and to LAUSD students and the community.

2. Funding. We have been seeking funding for this endeavor over this year, but the EXPO Safari covers a broad area and LA2050 actually encourages the broad reach of this service project, thus providing funds for a regional nature experience.


Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

31 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

What better way to utilize our river corridors. We have already placed freeways down most of them, why not get people out of their cars and install light rail too. Great concept.

by patrick_reynolds
over 1 year ago

What an adventure! Reconnecting communities to place with opportunities for education, experience, and beautification!

by alan.holstein
over 1 year ago

This would be great on Metrolink, too! San Gabriel River, numerous creeks, and the Los Angeles River are both visible along the journey.

by krudnyk@monrovia.com
over 1 year ago

This has terrific potential to reach our youngest citizens and open their eyes to aspects of the world around them they may have never noticed by weaving them into a complex, constructive narrative that they can dip into as they ride the trains or walk near the stops. It will provide a wonderful resource for science teachers at K-12 schools and is built on a solid track record of successful collaborations. Brilliant!

by kmhules
over 1 year ago

This is a fabulous idea and would enhance public transit for passengers! Great job!

by Vizzy
over 1 year ago

how great would it be to ride public transportation to get from point A to B and to be engaged and thoughtfully educated at the same time?! We have so many opportunities here in LA and this is a great idea to combine them into one rich, unique experience. A project like this could help make Metro the preferred transportation alternative.

by mespresso
over 1 year ago

Love this way of connecting the urban and the wild, the natural and the manmade by opening our eyes to LA's flora and fauna, past, present, and future. Looking forward to seeing LA anew through Expo Safari eyes.

by hadley.arnold
over 1 year ago

This is a great idea to help connect more people to their community. Public transportation is such a critical element in so many people's lives. This is a great way to improve (and promote) the experience!

by TMartin88
over 1 year ago

Wow! What a great idea! I would love to take out-of-town guests on a Metro safari to prove LA is evolving into a less auto-centric city, still capable of sustaining wildlife.

by SNicholson
over 1 year ago

Fantastic, thoughtful idea!

by vivian.shu
over 1 year ago

This is a fabulous idea and a project that is well thought out, creative and implementable. Bringing environmental education to mass transit is something that will not only improve the experience but potentially encourage a greater segment of LA to use mass transit. I would love the opportunity to travel on the "safari".

by dehusband
over 1 year ago


by staciepreven
over 1 year ago

This proposed collaboration will provide a valuable experience to youths and adults alike. Now that more an more people are leaving their cars at home and letting Expo Line do the driving, they are more likely to enjoy the view of the city while riding Expo Line. The new self guided tour will open our citizens' eyes to the great array of flora and fauna our fabulous city has to offer. I certainly hope this proposal comes to fruition as it will help educate people, make them more aware of their natural surroundings and ultimately bring our communities together .

by stephengabor
over 1 year ago

This project has a lot of potential! It's a great educational opportunity for children and adults while improving transportation corridors within Los Angeles.

by natasha.k.
over 1 year ago

This would be an amazing project for both the students and the community. What a great and innovative idea,. I support this project completely.

by yenglish
over 1 year ago

UCLA’s Extension Landscape Architecture Studio is a unique collaborative educational effort exposing the unseen LA urban wildlife and uniting it with Angelinos everyday life. UCLA’s Extension proposal is a value added feature for the EXPO line and exposure to a wide range of thousands.
Two of key features are the dual educational for aspect for adults and the opportunity to increase EXPO ridership on weekends. Adults will bring kids and grand kids to understand the urban wildlife around them.
A great idea capitalizing on LA’s natural resources and bringing them to life.

by woodwarda
over 1 year ago

As a former City of Glendale Design Review Board member, I have seen the impact highlighting the environment has on the community. The more environmental awareness we can bring, the more comfortable people are with embracing the need to preserve our precious resources. This is a great idea and I wholeheartedly support their proposal.

by aasakai
over 1 year ago

This is a great idea!!! What a innovative and exciting way to be able to get students and others to view, interact, and experience nature and our urban green spaces who might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.

by andy.bowden.503
over 1 year ago

As an instructor at the UCLA Landscape Architecture I think this project will provide an integral connection between the community and the students within our program while providing an opportunity to connect our urban nature to all.

over 1 year ago

What an incredible idea! This project has the potential to connect thousands of people to everyday nature within the city. As a graduate of the UCLA Extension program, I know what these students can achieve.

by Elizjordan
over 1 year ago

This is a wonderful and achievable idea.

The Safari 7 "self-guided tour of urban wildlife" on New York City's #7 subway uses "podcasts and maps that explore the complexity, biodiversity, conflicts, and potentials of New York’s ecosystems." (Quoted text from www.Safari7.org ) We can have a similar, locally-focused tour along our Expo line.

The UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program has students and instructors with the resources, skills and abilities to create an interesting and memorable experience for riders on the Expo line and, hopefully for riders on other Metro lines in the future.

by alan.b.clarke
over 1 year ago

Great concept! Can also highlight the ways that transportation corridors build on our underlying geography/hydrology, and discuss both pros and cons of transportation.

by sabrina.burgessdrill
over 1 year ago

This is an exciting concept! I might add that both the La Brea and La Cienega Expo stations are not far from Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area and Culver City Park, large open spaces with many wildlife viewing opportunities.

by stellaluna.rossoff
over 1 year ago

amazing concept, to connect the riders with the natural and cultural history of the area.
sorely needed to connect the populace with the remaining nature in Los Angeles.

by RichieRich2
over 1 year ago

This seems like a very interesting way to get people who ride the train to get connected with nature and wildlife in Los Angeles.

by yesayan
over 1 year ago

so much potential

by chiara0000
over 1 year ago

I may not be around in 2050 but I'm thrilled to see an effort like this for a better Los Angeles. Expo Safari is such a creative way to bring excitement to a normally unengaged activity such as riding the subway. Love that it brings people in touch with our wildlife which we can easily forget is living among us. Good luck in the voting, you've got a winning project as far as I can see.

by carolrobinso
over 1 year ago

sounds like a great project, especially as it involves otherwise underserved communities.

by mobla26
over 1 year ago

Looks like a wonderful Project!

by blandregan
over 1 year ago

Looks like an amazing Project!

by amyhill00
over 1 year ago

This is a great idea! Good luck to you all!

by kcettie
over 1 year ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Submission Ended
Thursday, July 31, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Voting Ended
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0
Special Olympics World Games 2015
Special Olympics World Games 2015

Winner Announced
Tuesday, September 30, 2014