Santa Monica construction crews have begun preparing the site of a future 6-acre Civic Center park with the relocation of trees and removal of the parking lot surface.

The planned park, currently known as the Palisades Garden Walk, was designed by James Corner Field Operations and is bounded by Main Street on the east.

City officials note that large trees, including three large Ficus rubinginosa known as the “Three Amigos,” have been boxed for relocation on the park site. While most of the boxed trees will be relocated within the park site, seven of the trees were carefully transported across the street for planting on the sloped site adjacent to City Hall.

Other site preparation work conducted includes the removal of the parking lot surface material. Overgrown ivy and debris on thesloped site between City Hall and the Santa Monica Freeway have been cleared and a row of boxed trees were placed at the top edge of the slope, officials said.

After the site was cleared, old stone wall terraces were revealed, and a seed mix ground cover with slope stabilizer will be planted in this area.

In addition, 17 non-native Washingtonia robusta palm trees currently located on the future park site will be relocated to Woodlawn Cemetery, where four to five palms will be planted perday until the work is complete. All other palm trees will remain on the Civic Center park site and will not be moved.

With the future park located within the coastal zone, the California Coastal Commission specifically noted that non-native invasive palm trees on the property could not be relocated on the site or within the coastal zone, city officials explained.

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