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Landscaping transforms neighborhood

August 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
One local man's dream to fix up his own home, turned into a door-to-door campaign to beautify his entire neighborhood. His vision isn't just making the landscape blossom, but it's also having a dramatic effect on the residents.When you look at the property, you see the kind of landscaping that transforms a house into a home using vibrant colors and gorgeous textures. It a true oasis of relaxation complete with a bird's eye view.

That's what landscaper Brent Green, had in mind when he bought a Mid-City home a few years ago. What was first a blank canvas has been transformed.

"I had a total vision," said Green. "My wife was looking at me like, 'Are you crazy? You can't do anything with this.' And I told her, 'You can totally do something with this.'"

That positive outlook not only transformed their home, but it completely changed the entire neighborhood. Green, who owns Greenart Landscape Design, went door-to-door asking neighbors if he could plant trees up and down the street for free. So far he's planted more than 200 trees out of his own pocket.

The visual changes have created a domino effect. One of Green's neighbors feels that he has created something special.

"He's really just created this whole community spirit, and made it beautiful," said Laura Franklin. "He's done so much as a neighbor."

Franklin lives down the street and thought she was buying her starter home. But when she saw the changes that Green was making, she was inspired -- and so was the rest of the block. Community involvement has skyrocketed and crime rates have dropped dramatically. What started as a plan to improve the look of a neighborhood has done that and much more.

"He has this amazing business and he works all over L.A., but he still has time to come and do community development in our own neighborhood, which is really nice," said Franklin.

Green says his contribution to the neighborhood adds to both his property value and quality of life.

"You live in a neighborhood, it's where you lay your head every night, so take pride in it," said Green. "Pick up trash, enjoy it, and get to know your neighbors. Do community projects that can beautify your area, because I feel it adds to your property value and your way of life."

Green's next project is a campaign to re-name this now-tree-lined area, "La Brea Park West." It's the final touch on a total neighborhood transformation inspired by one man's vision.

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