AN INSPIRING MORNING
AGZA had the privilege of joining two dozen other local business and non-profits focused on improving the quality of life, business, citizenship, and purpose in Los Angeles. The City Impact Lab's monthly Social Impact Breakfasts are organized and presented by the thoughtful and savvy team at Stratiscope. Today's event was hosted on the 11th floor workshop of Indie Source, one of countless creative operations in the legendary creative hive in DTLA known as LA Mart / REEF / Maker City.
Thanks to the vision and planning of Stratiscope — and a good deal of luck for AGZA at our first-ever Social Impact Breakfast — the two speakers for this session were both of incredibly direct and useful relevance for AGZA's mission and work.
- Michael Shull is General Manager of LA's Department of Rec & Parks
- Dominique Hargreaves, is Executive Director of US Green Building Council's LA Chapter
General Manager, LA DEPT of Rec & Parks
First up was Michael Shull. Soft-spoken but passionate and articulate, Mike is the top guy overseeing operations at all 450 parks throughout LA. He laid out the near- and long-term goals and challenges for LA's Parks — both of which are considerable. Budget cuts. Unfunded Ranger programs. Unkempt facilities. Massive multi-year drought and devastating tree blight. Access for underserved communities. Plus the 2028 Olympics.
Phew! It's easy to see that the success of these efforts will rely deeply on Mike's pragmatic optimism and veteran leadership chops.
Dan and I were thrilled to learn of Mike's ongoing efforts to make parks and outdoor recreation more accessible to the underserved. No one deserves or needs free and easy access to the natural escape of public parks more.
AGZA feels deep alignment with this mission. To that end, one of AGZA's core purposes is advocacy for the grounds maintenance worker, who is most often lower income and living in communities with poor air quality and countless other physical and economic challenges.
By incredible serendipity, AGZA had just met and presented to a number of the department heads working for Michael just a few days before. Invited by Mayor Garcetti's Office of Sustainability, AGZA gave an in-depth PowerPoint presentation on AGZA Green Zone® Certification, followed by a hands-on commercial electric equipment demo on the grass.
AGZA's goal in meeting with LA is to eventually help them transition the ongoing maintenance of all its parks from noisy, dirty polluting gas to quieter, cleaner zero-emission electric. There are countless considerations to be made along that path, and a small pilot park study is the first order of discussion.
But with the promise of the 2028 Olympics looming, updating park facilities throughout LA will gain increasing importance and urgency over the next decade. Our vision is to make Griffith Park the nation's largest AGZA Green Zone Park — including the Griffith Observatory, LA Zoo, Greek Theater, Autrey Museum and multiple golf courses.
Meeting Micheal in person and introducing AGZA was a wonderful injection of energy and optimism.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, USGBC-LA CHAPTER
Mike would normally be a hard act to follow, but Dominique Hargreaves was an equally compelling speaker in charge of equally massive vision, and another perfect match for AGZA.
USGBC is the national organization behind LEED Certification — the gold standard of environmental rating systems for built environments. AGZA's Green Zone® Certification is a perfect compliment to architectural sustainability, covering what LEED doesn't — the ongoing health and environmental impacts of pollutants from the gas-powered grounds maintenance industry.
Dominique's background and involvement in thoughtful programs expands well beyond USGBC — from Trash4Teaching to the Veggie Bus to the Green Janitor Education Program to LA's aspirational Sustainability pLAn.
On a personal note, Trash4Teaching holds a special place for me. I co-founded an ambitious Green Committee while my kids were in elementary school, and Trash4Teaching was a favorite field trip for us. In fact, my son revisited T4T as a customer when he needed 'cool junk' to build the time machine for his student film project as a teenager a few years later.
Dominique mentioned noticing signage in South Pasadena for the nation's first AGZA Green Zone City and stopping to look up our work. Exactly as Stratiscope intended in creating the Social Impact Breakfast program, synergy and serendipity were unfolding left and right.
Dominique went on to discuss how USGBC-LA was partnering with LA Rec & Parks to create the first zero-waste food services at the legendary Greek Theater within the Park. Perhaps the Greek would be a great candidate pilot study for AGZA's zero-emission, low-noise blowers!? Why use noisy, filthy gas to clean the massive expanse of terraced seating and surrounding hardscape throughout the facilities? Surely the Los Feliz neighbors would appreciate quieter cleanup literally right in their back yard.
Follow-up discussions touched on the possibility of aligning AGZA with an existing USGBC project at Simi Valley Library. Luke discussed AGZA's interest in creating a scoring system for AGZA Accredited Service Providers that might be similar to USGBC's Green Janitor program.
Clearly, more discussions are in order very soon : )
About City Impact Lab
Everyday in LA, thousands of people are working to make the city a better place, improving the lives of fellow Angelenos. The City ImpactLab in Los Angeles brings together those working to make an impact -- in government, in the arts, in neighborhoods, in non-profits, and in business -- to share strategies and collaborate. From The Social Impact Breakfast to Impact Walks to workshops and roundtables, the City Impact Lab provides various ways for people and groups to increase their effectiveness and deepen their impact.
Powered by Stratiscope, the City Impact Lab was founded in 2014 to be a resource for civic leaders across Los Angeles. The City Impact Lab's mission is to enable and empower individuals, businesses, and organizations to make an impact in their city.
At Stratiscope, we believe every person, company, and organization should have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to society and their local community. We leverage authentic relationships and employ effective strategies to enable tangible impacts.
We provide a time-saving service that uses essential information and resources to generate results. Our success is built on our specialization of street-level knowledge to craft specific solutions for anyone seeking to make lasting change.
Director of Community Engagement
Director of Impact
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