By SEAN NEALON
After the 2004 presidential election divided the country into "red states" and "blue states," Fritz Haeg, an architect and designer in Los Angeles, decided to do something to bring the country together.
His mind turned to the front lawn, because to him, it represents an American way of life that cuts across geographic, political, economic and religious divides. He decided to tear up front lawns and replace them with organic, edible gardens.
The idea turned into the Edible Estates project, which has resulted in Haeg creating gardens in five states and London since 2005. This year, he published a book, "Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn," which will be the subject of his talk at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at UC Riverside.
The talk, presented by UC Riverside's Edward J. Blakely Center for Sustainable Suburban Development and Sweeney Art Gallery, is a part of a monthly series focused on sustainability in the suburbs. Past topics include commuting, mass transit, air quality and affordable housing.
Rick Burnham, assistant director of the center, said Haig was recruited to speak because of his work on landscape design, specifically design that focuses on water conservation.
Museums or art institutions commissioned all of Haeg's gardens. In addition to the art aspect of gardens, Haig said he is equally interested in the dialogue they create among groups of people, including scientists, architects, food lovers and community organizers.
Haig created his first garden in Salinas, Kansas, the geographic center of the country. Since then he's built gardens in Lakewood; Maplewood, N.J.; London, England; Austin, Texas and Baltimore, Md.
Haig's talk will be held off-campus in room 207 at University Village, on the second floor above the restaurants and movie theater.
It's free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 951-827-7830.
Financial Aid Quotes
Prospective University of California students and their families have a new tool to estimate how much financial aid will be available to them.
UC officials unveiled the financial aid estimator last week.
An estimator for each campus, including UC Riverside, can be found at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/paying.html.
Prospective students or family members answer 12 questions about income, assets, taxes and household size, then estimated costs are calculated.
Alex C. Ruiz, UCR's campus tour coordinator, said financial aid questions are usually first on the list for students and families taking tours.
Ruiz said the new Web site is important, especially for first-generation college students. He also noted the convenience of being able to access the site from anywhere at anytime.
Climate Change Webcast
Inland residents can view a live Webcast of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's global climate talk Tuesday and Wednesday.
The summit, which will bring U.S. governors and internationally recognized leaders from around the world to Los Angeles, can be seen at www.uctv.com/climate/.
The goal of the event is to develop tangible solutions to the global climate challenge and create partnerships needed to advance a global climate agreement in Copenhagen next year, a news release stated.
Video archives will be available for on-demand viewing. Audio and video podcasts will also be available.
Published: Monday, November 17, 2008