City lays off Elysian Park snowmen

The Recreation & Parks staff at Elysian Park has for several years spent the days before and after Thanksgiving  creating a new set of  holiday decorations – snowmen made out of tumbleweeds spray painted white – to greet park visitors.  This year, however, there will be no tumbleweed holiday greeters thanks to budget cuts. It’s not that the handful of snowmen and a snowoman (pictured above last year) were made out of expensive materials:  the tumbleweeds came from a dump in Griffith Park, the black hats were fashioned from used plastic plant containers and the orange noses were cut from the tips of abandoned  field cones. But Elysian Park maintenance supervisor Mark Jackson said a 15% budget cut left his staff with no time to harvest the tumbleweeds and then trim then into shape, paint and wire them together and then install them across parts of the park .  “We just don’t have the staff,” Jackson said. “We will miss them as much as the community.”

Jackson, who in the past has recruited volunteers to tend to the park’s butterfly garden,  said he is open to residents help create the holiday decorations.  “If someone wants it that badly … we could provide the supplies.”

Related posts:
It’s not easy being an Elysian Park snowman. The Eastsider
A holiday tradition tumbles back into Elysian Park. The Eastsider


  1. Ain’t it just the way it goes,
    You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.

  2. The snowmen were always my favorite thing this time of year 🙁 Is there any way we could set up donations towards someone’s time to build them?

  3. If we can get a group of volunteers to make the snowmen, how do we get in contact w/Mark Jackson to proceed?

  4. I’d be happy to join a group of volunteers to make this project happen! Let me know!

  5. Rachel is available Sunday the 5th, Tue the 6th thru Fri the 10th 1pm to 4pm, and Sat. and Sun 11th & 12th. 310-483-9267
    Laura is available Monday the 6th & 13th. 213-220-5157

  6. I will call Mark Jackson on Monday and post information here, on the Echo/Elysian Park NC board and on the Echo Park Animal Alliance board. Hopefully, we can come together and get these snowpeople put together!

  7. I left a message for the maintenance supervisor and waiting to hear back from him. I’ll post more after I hear from him!

  8. I just spoke with Mark, he’s a really nice guy, he said that they knew people would miss the Snowmen this year and I told him he was right! And that a group of volunteers would like to help bring them back to life.

    He would like to meet with us on Friday at 10 at the Elysian Park maintenance yard (between the police academy and Solano Canyon). The two people who have made the snowmen in the past will give us a lesson on how to make them that day. Thursday Mark will send his staff to Griffith Park to pick up some tumbleweeds. We will need to bring gloves and clippers to trim the tumbleweeds. He said he will be able to have the painters come and spray them and that his staff will transport them to their holiday homes once we complete them. He warned me that they take a lot of work, which I’m sure they do!

    So, wear long sleeves, bring your gloves and clippers for shaping and we’ll see you on Friday at 10!!!!!!!

  9. Just an update, the snowmen are back in their regular positions. Thank you to whoever volunteered their hardwork to make them. They were not up this morning but when I passed the park this afternoon on my way home from work I saw them standing tall and proud.

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