Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming Senator Kevin de Leon to the Los Angeles State Historic Park office and providing him with an update on the park development project at LASHP. Superintendent Sean Woods gave Senator de Leon a tour of the LASHP construction site and later Rio de Los Angeles State Park where they met with community members to talk about the future of State Parks in Los Angeles. And a big thank you Timm Herdt with the Ventura County Star for the great article about LA State Parks and the Senator’s visit.
While construction continues at Los Angeles State Historic Park, volunteers are hard at work at our State Park around the corner, Rio de Los Angeles. Park Champions is a volunteer program managed by California State Parks Foundation, State Parks’ greatest ally and non-profit advocate. On this warm Wednesday, Park Champions worked in partnership with our long term volunteer group Las Abuelas del Rio, pulling invasive plants to restore the native riperian habitat and beautify the park. Stay tuned for information on upcoming volunteer projects as we continue the slow but steady progress of habitat restoration at Rio. And, check back periodically for updates on the Los Angeles State Historic Park construction, also proceeding at a slow but steady pace this summer. We’re looking forward to a beautiful new park this time next year!
The park may be closed for construction, but we still have our little space under the Broadway Bridge, VIADUCT, open for business. This Saturday June 28th we are pleased to co-sponsor the LA River Revitalization Corps’ Bike-In Movie from 7:00 – 10:00 pm. The evening offerings will include an Urban Ag Workshop, Echo Park Film Center Shorts, a special appearance from Tom of Tom Explores Los Angeles, RiverWild food vendors, and a campfire. And to round out the evening of food and fun, the main feature Ratatouille!
Construction at LASHP is well underway. We are about 2 months in and all the rough grading has been completed. Happily, we were able to save some beautiful sycamore, poplar and alder trees on the Park’s northern end and our native plant garden on this side the monster construction fence is blooming and bustling with insects, lizards and birds. It’s hard to see the park closed, so close and yet so far with that fence blocking our path, but exciting too, knowing that in a year we’ll have 34 acres of park, trees, native plants, and all the wild things that come with them.
Los Angeles State Historic Park is excited to announce it has officially begun construction. Our fencing is going up, the first of many steps towards our new park!
The park has been a work in progress since the state acquired the land in 2001. Here is an article written by KCET with more info.
For more information and images of whats to come in the next year visit our departmental page here.
The state appreciates your patience during this phase of construction, we look forward to seeing you all in the park in 2015!
Los Angeles State Historic Park is in need of a Park Interpretive Specialist. Click the link to find out more and fill out an application if you are interested!
For additional information call (323) 441- 9183 and ask for Officer Apperson
Following the groundbreaking at Los Angeles State Historic Park, General Jackson and his wife Susan took a trip to the Rio de Los Angeles State Park “Bowtie” parcel for a look at an unusual public art project adjacent to the Los Angeles River. General Jackson met with artist Michael Parker who had just completed his sculpture “The Unfinished,” based on an Egyptian archaeological site known as the “Unfinished Obelisk.” Michael’s project involved excavating a 137 foot to-scale replica of the obelisk in Aswan, commissioned by Pharaoh Hatshepsut, which cracked before being completed and was consequently abandoned on site. Michael described his obelisk lying in wait next to the LA River as “a place to think about hierarchy and individual agency and the possible capabilities of a collective force.” Indeed the project was a shared undertaking, as State Parks aided Michael in clearing otherwise daunting bureaucratic hurdles, such as the environmental review process and permitting. Parks maintenance staff provided tools and technical assistance, and the “excavation” itself was performed as a collaborative effort by Michael’s students from the Cal State Long Beach Sculpture program, other artists, and friends.
Situated on an undeveloped parcel next to the only soft-bottomed section of the Los Angeles River known as the Glendale Narrows, the site and the project offer visitors the opportunity to view the river from an entirely new perspective – normally off limits to the general public. The project was completed in partnership with Clockshop, a non-profit arts and culture organization based in Elysian Park, or “Frogtown.” Clockshop wanted to include “The Unfinished” as part of their “Frogtown Furturo” series which takes a critical and varied look at the forces of river revitalization in their neighborhood. A special bonus for Michael was receiving permission to camp on-site during the construction and working into the wee hours to finish “The Unfinished.” Accompanied by the sound of flowing river and birds it was easy to imagine the Bowtie as it might be someday – a naturalized park and campsite nestled in the midst of urban Los Angeles. Extensive coverage of the project can be found on the KCET website
It was a long time in the making, but after over a decade of planning, the Department finally celebrated the groundbreaking for Los Angeles State Historic Park on March 15, 2014. Joining Sate Parks Director General AnthonyJackson, Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap, and Los Angeles Sector Superintendent Sean Woods were community activists, elected officials, and private partners who worked together over the years to make the vision of a park at the “Cornfields” a reality. State Senator Kevin De Leon spoke eloquently about the park which was born of struggle and community activism by concerned citizens seeking environmental justice for their neighborhoods. Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez reminded us how local legislators fought to support funding for the construction the park, despite the economic downturn and a slow recovery. Representatives from the Gabrieleno/Tongva Nation opened the ceremony with a blessing and the East Wind Lion Dancers from Chinatown delighted guest with a spirited performance.
The groundbreaking was a true celebration of community and a perfect opportunity to also announce the California State Parks partnership with UCLA’s Department of Theater, Film and Television. Dean Teri Shwartz introduced the new partnership with UCLA’s Interpretive Media Laboratory (IMLab) and prior to the groundbreaking guests were treated to an open house showcasing interpretive technology in development for the Park’s new visitor center, and a scale mockup of the “Welcome Center” itself, at the IMLab headquarters across the street from the park. The partnership will focus on creative digital interpretation to tell the history of the park and surrounding communities and Los Angeles State Historic Park will no doubt fulfill the community vision as a vibrant space for civic dialogue, cultural celebration and historic remembrance.