From left: Senior Librarian Jan Metzler, Speaker Jennifer Mok, and Program Chairman Frona DeCovnick


Going Native a Big Hit

At our May General Meeting, Jennifer Mok, landscape architect and past president of the Theodore Payne Foundation, filled a captivated audience in on her reasons for landscaping with native plants. In brief: California is a special place because of its varied geology—from misty coasts to arid deserts and alpine meadows. A wealth of unique species evolved here. Our local natives save water, require no fertilizer, have greater depth of color, and are a sensible approach to conservation and restoration of local ecosystems.

Slides enhanced the presentation as Ms. Mok shared the Foundation's research on many of our 6,300 native and gone-native species. California blue bells and buckwheat, owl's clover, stream orchid, yellow lupine, iris, tiger and mariposa lily, bush anemone, red columbine, cardinal monkey flower with its soft textures, the elegant Matilija and bright Channel Island poppies, sage, deer grass, blazing star, and Indian paintbrush were but a few of the wild flora discussed.

The Payne Foundation, which sponsors these lectures, propagates and disseminates native plants for the public. It maintains a far-flung seed program and endeavors to familiarize people with indigenous species by demonstration gardens, tours, classes, and plant sales. In the forefront of a growing trend among local public agencies to landscape with California natives, the Foundation has designed and planted such gardens for the Los Angeles Zoo, Pacoima City Library, and various Department of Parks and Recreation sites.

 Responding to their newly acquired data with a lively question and answer period at the end of the talk, the audience left with a deeper appreciation of and perspective on the “weeds” that adorn our hills. Many thanks to all who helped make this a memorable and well-attended evening—especially Children's Librarian Nancy Brennan and her lovely cut-paper poster.

Frona DeCovnick, Program Chairman

Friends Metro Rail Art Tour

From left, helpers Yolanda Ferraro & Judy Eichenbaum and Event Coordinator Mary Ann Ostrom check boarding rosters as Volunteer Coordinator Elaine Corman prepares to board.

“And a good time was had by all!”

In spite of the heat, that was the opinion of the Friends who took our Art Tour in July. Our busses arrived at the library on time and whisked us down to the Hollywood/Highland station, where we met our docents. Because we were such a large party (66 people!), we were divided into three groups, with a docent for each group. 

Our docents, Metro Art Coordinator Barbara Lashenick, Marcia Beim, and Sue Meltzer—three knowledgeable and enthusiastic ladies—told us about the artists’ background and intent. Since not all the stations are new, some artists had to work with tiles that were already in place. The artists whose work decorates the newer stations were less restricted and could coordinate their concept with the architect's. 

The ladies also had a wealth of information about the construction of the stations (100 feet beneath the surface), safety precautions, the fact there is no advertising either in the stations or in the cars, and just about anything one could think to ask. Incidentally, the stations and cars are amazingly clean, due, we were told, to almost continuous maintenance.

Each of the three groups visited four stations, although not necessarily the same four, which made for interesting conversation during lunch and the bus trip home.

My personal thanks go to Judy Eichnbaum, Yolanda Ferraro, Ellie Haney, Paula Russo, and Harriet Strauss for helping me make sure no one got left behind. And on behalf of the Friends, I want to especially thank Yvette Whittaker in Councilman Dennis Zine's Office for her help in securing the bus. It really was the icing on the cake!

Mary Ann Ostrom, Event Coordinator

Board Election Results

At our May General Meeting, Friends of the Platt Library members elected officers and approved committee chairperson appointments for the 2003–2004 year. This year's Board is, as usual, a nice mix of new and familiar faces.

Elected Members



Terry Haney

1st Vice President (Fundraising)


Lyall Thompson

2nd Vice President (Membership)


Millie Berger

Recording Secretary


Eileen O'Neill

Corresponding Secretary


Paula Russo



Stan DeCovnick

Appointed Members

Past President


Millie Berger

Newsletter Editor


Therese Hearn



Ellie Haney

Hospitality Co-Chair


Roberta Mehegan

Programs/Special Events


Frona DeCovnick



Charlene Montante



Joan Wagner

Civic Affairs


Annie Haas

Book Store/Book Sales


Shel Schuster

Volunteer Coordinator


Elaine Corman



Harriet Strauss



David Perrell

Senior Librarian


Jan Metzler

Harriet Strauss, Nominating Committee Chair


With displaced library patrons returning to their respective branches, we're returning to our previous five Book Sales a year schedule.

The first is coming up soon: Saturday, August 23,
with the presale Friday evening, August 22.

The next will be Saturday, November 8,
with the presale Friday evening, November 7.

Subsequent sale dates will be announced in future issues.

The Friends of the Platt Library Newsletter is produced and maintained by Hearn/Perrell Art Associates. Editor: Therese Hearn
Artwork, photos and information are copyrighted by their respective Authors, the Friends of the Platt Library, and/or Hearn/Perrell Art Associates and may not be reprinted without permission.
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