Watts Rain Gardens

submission by Viviana
Watts Rain Gardens

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

From Lot to Spot

Organization(s) website(s):


Organization(s) twitter handle(s):


Organization(s) facebook handle(s):


Organization(s) instagram handle(s):


Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


FLTS is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving blighted, urban neighborhoods by building community-designed greenspaces in the greater Los Angeles area one vacant space at a time.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


The Watts Rain Gardens project is a multi-benefit environmental and revitalization project that will create 10000 sq ft of pervious surface that will not only capture stormwater before it enters the ocean and provide much needed tree shade, but will create beautiful green parkways in Watts.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


The Watts Rain Gardens project is a multi-benefit environmental and revitalization project that will create 10000 sq ft of pervious surface that will not only capture stormwater before it enters the ocean and provide much needed tree shade in a low-income neighborhood, but will help create an attractive, green parkway in in Watts. Currently the site is comprised of blighted parkways on 103rd and Kalima Streets in park-poor Watts. The project will feature over 500 native plants, 25 trees and over 10000 sq ft of rain garden catchment system along 4 blocks in Watts.

The Watts Rain Gardens is a multibenefit project that will not create immediate change in the visual character of the neighborhood, but combined with other efforts on 103rd, will be a catalyst for change with a measureable impact on the environment.

It is difficult, even discouraging, to walk down the street when the parkways are full of debris, old couches, shopping carts and other similar items. These items commonly pepper urban, low income neighborhoods. FLTS does not see it as a matter of self destruction, but of one of long term disinvestment. At some point, when a community feels left on the fringes, a collective consciousness begins to take over. One of neglect and disillusionment. And the built environment has a great impact on one’s psyche. Watts has one of the lowest greenspace ratios in the City of Los Angeles and the County.

Now imagine, if we took the time to invest in the community, engage community around creating tangible, immediate change in their neighborhoods; discussing collectively the impacts of creating even the slightest bit of greenspace in communities that are parkpoor, tree-less, and without any type of greenspace. And on top of creating additional greenspace, the project also would help the environment by capturing stormwater and proving a much needed tree canopy. The Watts Rain Gardens will do just that. It will create swift, cost effective gardens along parkways that will capture rain water, filter it to the water table below, increasing local water supplies AND simultaneously improve the visual character of the neighborhood, with the community, not for them.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


Socially, we believe that removing blight cause by neglected parkways and subsequently revitalizing them through greening will essentially pave the way for more change in the neighborhood. Baseline surveys will be conducted with residents who live directly adjacent and students who utilizes sidewalks and walkways. Surveys will capture attitudes towards the built environment in their neighborhood and feelings around current conditions of the blighted parkways.
From an environmental perspective, FLTS is committed to ensure our projects not only look good, but make an actual impact in the community. From an environmental perspective, we take baseline assessments of existing conditions. For this project we will measure tree shade, gallons of storm water runoff and flora and fauna conditions. Post construction, we will measure sq. ft. of shade canopy created, number of stormwater captured and numbers of new insect and animal species.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

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

Other (please specify below):

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Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015