Councilmember James Johnson

©2010 Bob Foster
City of Long Beach Announces Completion of Nation’s First 600-Foot-Long ‘Great Wall of Mulch’
Great Wall of Mulch

Today, Mayor Bob Foster and Councilmember James Johnson, 7th District, topped off the 600-foot-long Great Wall of Mulch, which is believed to be the only Mulch Wall constructed in the United States. The Great Wall of Mulch extends the length of Hudson Park on the West Side, serving as an environmentally friendly buffer to reduce noise and eliminate the visual pollution of trucks along the heavily traveled Terminal Island (103) freeway.


“The Great Wall of Mulch demonstrates how the City of Long Beach continues to strive for more innovative and unique solutions for environmental issues, including reducing the level of noise from the freeway,” said Mayor Bob Foster.


The Great Wall of Mulch is 12 feet high and 3 feet wide, and made completely out of mulch, which is an organic material composed of green waste generated from routine tree trimming of Long Beach’s urban forest.


Great Wall of Mulch

The Great Wall of Mulch is 600 feet long.



“Today, an injustice has ended,” Councilmember Johnson said. “The people of West Long Beach finally have an innovative ‘Green Wall’ along Hudson Park that will block the noise from the freeway, eliminate the visual blight, and improve air quality with trees and other plantings. I look forward to further improvements along the freeway as we protect the students, veterans, and residents who have lived next to this free without protection for far too long.”


In February 2012, the City’s Office of Sustainability constructed a smaller version of the Mulch Wall to demonstrate feasibility, and in February 2013 the Port of Long Beach partnered with the City to fund this larger demonstration project. The total project cost is $150,000, which is proving to be a cost efficient solution to eliminating the sight of trucks along the freeway as well as reducing the noise level of traffic. The funding also includes further exploration on effectiveness of the mulch wall, including whether it can absorb air pollution such as diesel particulates.


In addition to reducing freeway noise and blocking visual pollution, mulch provides multiple environmental benefits.


Great Wall of Mulch

Mayor Foster and Councilmember Johnson drop a ceremonial bucket of mulch to top off the wall.



The City of Long Beach produces about 12,000 tons of mulch from tree trimming each year, and over the last four years has covered dozens of vacant lots with mulch to suppress the growth of weeds and reduce maintenance costs.


In addition, the City’s Green Team performs about 600 free mulch deliveries to residents a year.


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Great Wall of Mulch

©2010 Bob Foster
Follow the Mayor: Candlelight Vigil for Marriage Equality
Candlelight Vigil

Mayor Bob Foster joined more than 100 residents and community leaders at a candlight vigil at City Hall’s Centennial Plaza.  The gathering was to show support for marriage equality.  Vice Mayor Garcia, Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell, Councilmember Gerrie Schipske, and Councilmember James Johnson were also in attendance.

Candlelight Vigil

Left to right: Vice Mayor Garcia, Mayor Foster, Councilmember Johnson and Cory Allen from State Senator Ricardo Lara’s office.


View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.

©2010 Bob Foster
Largest Development of New Park Space in 60 Years Celebrated with Unveiling of Plaza’s Huge Map

Mayor, Councilmember James Johnson and Supervisor Don Knabe celebrate the grand opening of Willow Springs Park

Mayor Bob Foster and Councilmember James Johnson are proud to unveil a 100-feet diameter, 7,850-square-foot map for the grand opening of Willow Springs Park, with views of the Long Beach skyline, the Port of Long Beach, Palos Verdes, Downtown Los Angeles and San Gabriel Mountains. The circular map/plaza is made out of decomposed granite and tumbled glass and details the area’s watersheds and terrain, including prominent peaks and points, within 50 miles of the park. At 47 acres, Willow Springs Park will ultimately constitute the largest development of new park space in the City of Long Beach since 1952.

Councilmember Johnson and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine are inviting the community to a free jazz concert at Willow Springs Park on Thursday, November 1, from 6 to 9 pm to celebrate its grand opening.



(Left to right) Mayor Foster, Supervisor Don Knabe, David Slater of Signal Hill Petroleum and Councilmember James Johnson place the tile marking Long Beach in the Longview Point Plaza map.


©2010 Bob Foster
LACMA Rock Levitates in Long Beach

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art‘s 340-ton boulder entitled “Levitated Mass” arrived in Bixby Knolls early this morning. It will be parked all day Wednesday, March 7 on Atlantic Ave., between 36th St. and 37th St.

In honor of the LACMA rock, the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association and Councilmember James Johnson will be throwing the “I Want to Rock with You” party today from noon to 7pm. The party for this spectacle will feature music (a DJ will play songs that feature “rock” in the title), food, live artists, the Knolls Ranger, river rock decorating, photo ops with the rock, and more.  Visit the Bixby Knolls BIA website www.bixbyknollsinfo.com for more info on the rock party.

If you miss seeing the LACMA rock today, there’s still an opportunity to see it roll through Long Beach tonight. The transporting of the boulder will take place from 11pm-5am. It will travel south on Atlantic, then west on Ocean, north on Magnolia and then west on Pacific Coast Highway. See the route map here.

The boulder, which is part of an upcoming sculpture installation at LACMA, is being transported on a specially built trailer that is approximately 200 feet long, 25-30 feet wide with 196 wheels, and travels at a brisk 8 miles per hour.

Please note: Atlantic Avenue will experience some traffic delays as there will be only one lane of traffic open on either side of the parked trailer during the day.

Mayor Foster spoke to a few local TV stations early in the morning to talk about the LACMA rock and the "I Want to Rock with You" party in Bixby Knolls.

The Mayor returned to Bixby Knolls later in the day to attend the “I Want to Rock with You” party.

Mayor Foster with Blair Cohn, executive director of the Bixby Knolls BIA.

©2010 Bob Foster
Follow the Mayor: Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade


Mayor Foster joined Councilmember James Johnson at the 58th Annual Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade on Saturday, Dec. 10.  Many thanks to the Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade Committee, Councilmember Johnson and Special Events for organizing another great holiday parade in Long Beach!

Above photo: Maria Norvell with Mayor Foster.

Nancy and Mayor Foster

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal talks with Mayor Foster before the parade begins.

Mayor Foster speaks with LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.

Mayor Foster with the group from the Price Transfer Company.

©2010 Bob Foster
Follow the Mayor: Fresh & Easy Grand Opening

Fresh & Easy opened two new stores in Long Beach today at Atlantic Ave./33rd Ave. and Long Beach Blvd./5th St. 

To help celebrate the Fresh & Easy grand openings, Long Beach neighbors to nominate local nonprofits C.A.R.E. Program at St. Mary Medical Center and For The Child  to recieve $1,000 donation at the grand opening from Fresh & Easy. 

Councilmember James Johnson attended the Bixby Knolls Fresh & Easy ribbon cutting while Mayor Foster and Councilmember Robert Garcia attended the Downtown Long Beach ceremony.

Top photo (left to right): Councilmember Robert Garcia, Fresh & Easy store manager Shaun O’Donnell, Mayor Foster and Fresh & Easy vice president and general counsel Mary Kasper.

Fresh & Easy will be giving money to local Long Beach schools through their Shop for Schools program. Mayor Foster, Shaun O'Donnell, Councilmember Garcia and Mary Kasper take a photo with students from the New City School.

(Left to right): C.A.R.E. Program Client Service Manager Robert Stohr, Mayor Foster, Fresh & Easy Shaun O'Donnell and Councilmember Garcia.

©2010 Bob Foster
Follow the Mayor: Chittick Field/California Gardens press conference

This morning, Mayor Bob Foster, Councilmember Dee Andrews and Councilmember James Johnson announced a creative partnership for two major park projects that will significantly increase active and passive recreation opportunities in Central Long Beach.

Funding has been secured to revitalize 19-acre Chittick Field with a brand new sports complex, including three soccer fields, a football field and an all-weather running track at one of the busiest parks in Long Beach. Additionally, funding has been identified to begin developing California Gardens with a 3-acre park and trail featuring sweeping panoramic views, and will serve as an anchor for future improvements that are proposed for 48-acre California Gardens.

Mayor Foster says hello to a group of Long Beach youth who were practicing soccer at Chittick Field.

The group gets ready to throw out/kick the ceremonial footballs and soccer balls. (Left to right) Councilmember Johnson, Parks and Recreation Commission President Brett Waterfield, Councilmember Andrews, Mayor Foster, former NFL player Willie McGinest, and Connie Sziebel (Supervisor Knabe's office).

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