‘Green-Heart’ Takes a Step Back

By JOHN HARLOW | Editor-in-Chief

It is the end of a green era.

At the age of 84, Barbara Marinacci, the public face of many environmental and beautification projects around Pacific Palisades, is walking away from the Temescal Canyon Park garden and other tributes to her energy and vision.

No longer will the Palisadian-Post carry appeals for Tuesday aid at the N/E/X/T/Garden.

Volunteers will still be able to help weed and plant with Marinacci’s colleague Michael Terry on the last Saturday afternoon of the month.

(But if there is another “superbloom” next spring, one afternoon per month may not be enough to keep the garden under control, Terry admitted.)

Marinacci was due to step back this month from the Pacific Palisades Community Council, where she held a seat that will be “rotated out”—to be replaced by a representative from Theatre Palisades, with a representative from Friends of the Palisades Library as a back up.

Some admirers are shocked, however, with the speed with which she has, in her own words, “severed” her connections with her favorite green cause.

Terry, a professional landscape designer from Rustic Canyon, said she had another book project she wanted to finish.

Marinacci is the author of several respected volumes about the history of California.

She was the force behind the town’s only community garden since 1988, when she dreamed of a haven for native species. But it was not until May 29, 2010, that work began on the Temescal project, sponsored by the city’s Recreation and Parks Department.

“The professional planning came from Mike, but I was able to weed and other such humble but essential tasks,” she explained. “And many other volunteers, including students from Pali High, have since joined us. There is no other place like this in the Palisades.”

And, when it comes to getting hands dirty, no other gardener like Marinacci.