ECHS Celebrates Grand Opening of Science Lab!

ECHS Science Lab Grand Opening

The ECHS Science Lab officially opened with a green ribbon cutting!  On March 3rd, we were pleased to be part of the ceremony that recognized the work La Loma did designing and building an outdoor science class room, with partners Shangri-La Construction getting props for their work indoors.  The outdoors portion of the project included our recycled concrete walls, stairs, and floors, as well as various features: from a 1,700 gallon cistern catching rain water from the roof (it’s already full!), to a multi-tank aquaponics system growing tilapia fish and vegetables.  We

City of Santa Monica Certified Landscape Professional

We are pleased to announce that we are a Sustainable Landscape Professional with the City of Santa Monica and are currently pursuing additional classifications for Design, Installation and Maintenance. The city is offering grants and rebates of up to $5,000 to Santa Monica residents for Sustainable Landscapes, Cash for Grass, Irrigation or Rain Harvesting.

Urban Agriculture and Food Forestry

Kitchen Gardens can become an integral and beautiful part of any landscape

"Urban agriculture" and "food forestry" may sound like a paradox considering the last century has seen urban growth paving over our prime agricultural lands, and forests around the world getting cut down for commercial crops.  However, for most of our history, human settlements were integrally connected to their local sources of food, veggies, fruit, eggs, fish, etc. and the best food systems around the world were those that worked with nature.  Even in Los Angeles County, one hundred years ago, we were one of the most agriculturally productive counties in the United States, and more than half our population were farmers and ranchers.  Demographics and development have changed dramatically in the last one hundred years, and now we find ourselves perirously vulnerable, completely dependent on a complicated, distant, and dangerously unsustainable food system.  Clearly, when considering options for a sustainable urban food system, we ultimately realize that we will need more people to take up the vocation of urban farmer to plan and develop urban food systems, from kitchen veggie/herb gardens, to aquaculture, to integrated food forests.

Time Lapse video of Broken Concrete Amphitheater

We were excited to complete the construction of our design for the Public Fruit Theater at LACMA. This garden is a nostaligic monument to the Orange tree, whose groves covered much of Southern California’s landscape for decades. It brings into focus our precarious and often domineering relationship to nature.The dry-stacked broken concrete is a reflection of the sidewalks and streets that have paved our previously highly productive agricultural land. It is crafted in an artisinal fashion, and hand picked from local city sources in our unique La Loma style.

Just Plain Wrong Retaining Walls

Definitely Not a La Loma Wall

In our years of landscaping and building walls, we've seen many ugly and failing retaining walls. Yes, not all walls are created equal!  We have even seen three feet high cinderblock walls that fall over because of their lack of structural integrity and poor drainage. The reason why our walls will probably last for thousands of years is due to proper construction for gravity, drainage, erosion, retention, and plants.

Our gravity walls are built with reused concrete pieces that are hand selected and chiseled to fit together perfectly like a puzzle.