APRIL 18, 2017 · 5:27 PM

Preparing for the Grand Opening

Opening a brand new CA State Park in the middle of downtown is no easy feat. Since the acquisition of LASHP in 2001, CA State Parks and the surrounding communities have been hard at work (65 public meetings, establishing park advocacy groups…) to make the grand opening a reality for Los Angeles.

Our Promotoras, a community-based park  ambassadors group, are just as excited to open this park! Today, Promotoras bagged and labeled seed packets for LA to “grow with us!” Meet our park leaders at the grand opening!

JULY 21, 2015 · 2:50 PM

Construction Update

Residual storm clouds on Monday make a nice backdrop for the new roundhouse bridge which will be a central feature of the new park. And happily, after clearing some construction hurdles and delays due to nesting birds and archaeological finds, construction has picked up steam in recent days. We are on track to have the park finished in December and look forward to an official grand opening in spring of 2016. Stay tuned, we’ll be posting more photos as the welcome center and ranger station near completion and the park takes on its final form.

MAY 21, 2015 · 10:33 AM

“Sean Woods, the man who’s helping make L.A. a parks place”

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Patt Morrison, recently spoke with Los Angeles Superintendent Sean Woods regarding his work on the California State Parks Transformation Team, oversight of innovative strategies and initiatives in Los Angeles, and new directions for the Department. Sean was here when State Parks first ventured into the Los Angeles urban core and has been working tirelessly since, to build parks, and share the State Parks mission where it’s needed most. His passion, tenacity, and commitment to park equity have helped transform community visions for abandoned train yards and industrial spaces into the realities of Rio De Los Angeles State Park, The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, and Los Angeles State Historic Park. Read the full interview here in the Los Angeles Times and you’ll understand why Sean is an all around park hero.

MAY 12, 2015 · 11:42 AM

Nesting Season

Under normal circumstances it’s not unusual to find killdeer nesting in the park this time of year. But the park has been anything but normal since the fence went up and renovation began last April. Nevertheless, the killdeer have persevered! Despite the rumble of heavy equipment and construction, a killdeer pair recently settled down to nest at LASHP. Like the staff archaeologists who have been monitoring construction activity to protect  cultural resources, we have environmental scientists on staff looking after our nest and wildlife. Once the nest was discovered, a wide perimeter was established giving the killdeer a safe space to incubate their eggs. On May 11 the mother killdeer was spotted sitting on her eggs. On May 12, chicks!



Killdeer nest on the ground and spotting a nest with the naked eye isn’t easy. The eggs really blend in with gravelly locations that the birds prefer. You’ll know a nest is near if you notice a pair of killdeer making noise and scurrying excitedly around. They do this to lure predators away from their nesting location. One of the birds will pretend to have a broken wing, flapping about on the ground, further and further from the nest. Quite a fascinating charade and interesting adaptive behavior. Here is a nest with four eggs found just yesterday at Rio de Los Angeles State Park.

NOVEMBER 19, 2014 · 1:14 PM

Park Archaeologists Busy as Construction Proceeds

While park construction forges ahead, state archaeologists are on-site monitoring all this activity and keeping eyes peeled for any new artifacts or structures that might surface. The photo above shows the site of a trash pit discovered early on during construction and located near the footprint of the old Pacific Hotel. Artifacts gathered from the pit include pieces of dishware, ink bottles, and oil lamps. Heavy equipment and grading in this area were halted long enough for archaeologists to survey the site and gather artifacts. They date most of these recent finds to the late 1800’s, concurrent with the Los Angeles River Station – the first passenger depot in Los Angeles and the western terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Though most of the major site grading is complete, archaeologists will remain on-site throughout construction. Next up should be the frames of our new welcome center and ranger station. Check back for photos and an update on the bridge construction already visible in the center of the park.

NOVEMBER 6, 2014 · 6:49 PM

Presenting: LASHP Trails and Wellspring

The Interpretive Media Laboratory at Los Angeles Historic Site (UCLA –IMLab) has unveiled its mobile website ( along with an interactive sculptural trailhead located below the historic Broadway Bridge on Baker Street. The goal of the mobile website is to engage users in participatory exploration of the community surrounding LASHP via their smartphones. The trailhead, known as “Wellspring” is a sculpture created by local artists Michael Parker and Troy Rounseville using all recycled material from Los Angeles State Historic Park and referencing the “Zanja Madre” or mother ditch, which brought water from the Los Angeles River to El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the birthplace of modern Los Angeles. The mobile website can only be activate from this location and guides users to discovery spots with historical information and pictures, and also suggests creative opportunities exercise along the curated routes.

A compass/ arrow navigation tool points its users to hot spots along the three curated routes. The Park Rim Trail is 3 ½ miles, El Pueblo/ Chinatown is 4.5 miles Trail, and for the more adventurous there is the 6.5 mile Trail which loops through Elysian Park. During the demonstration walk, the crowd explored 3 Hotspots showing information about the Buena Vista Viaduct (Historical North Broadway Bridge), The LA River Station, and the Flat Iron/ Ice House building which was instrumental in the agricultural boom of California. The goal of LASHP-Trails is not only to promote physical activity, but to engage individuals with their city’s history and prompt consideration of this city’s future. Ultimately, the goal is for the public to tell their own stories about Urban Los Angeles and help establish a network of interconnected urban trails. UCLA and State Parks see the mobile website evolving to become a community authoring system. This would allow individuals to add their own stories and histories related to place and curate their own trails tailored to specific interests.

Park Interpretive Staff at Los Angeles State Historic Park are offering demonstrations as well as short guided walks using Please contact: Luis Rincon (323)441-8819 or email: if you would like a demonstration. Hope to see you on the trails!

OCTOBER 10, 2014 · 10:12 AM

LA River Campout #2: October 18-19th, 2014 @ The Bowtie Project

The Campout and evening programming are full.  Please stay posted for information on future events and the next Campout in Spring 2015. Thanks everyone for supporting State Parks and the Bowtie Project.

For further information please contact:

Luis Rincon, CA State Parks Interpretive Specialist:


OCTOBER 8, 2014 · 12:21 PM

IMLab presents: LASHP Trails a mobile website + Wellspring- an interactive trailhead

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 · 9:46 AM

Marsh Park Grand Opening

With Los Angeles State Historic Park closed for construction, park staff has been spending a lot of time visiting neighboring parks and participating in off-site programs and events. One of the most exciting recently was the grand opening of Marsh Park’s 6 acre extension.  The opening of Phase-2 was inspirational as we wait for the completion of LASHP and look forward to our own grand opening next summer. The event drew community members, partner agencies, and elected officials including Senator Kevin De Leon, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, and California State Assembly member Jimmy Gomez in celebration of the new park and ongoing Los Angeles River revitalization efforts.

The following week, the Mountains and Recreation Conservation Authority (MRCA), who manage Marsh Park, offered a screening of Ken Burns’ short documentary, “Yosemite: Gathering of the Spirit.” The film commemorates 150 years of California State Parks, beginning with the preservation of Yosemite, originally as a State Park, in 1864.  MRCA Naturalist Andy Bleckinger and National Park Service Ranger Anthony Bevilacqua welcomed State Parks’ participation and MRCA’s Junior Rangers shared their recent first-hand experiences visiting Yosemite National Park.

JULY 10, 2014 · 8:42 AM

We’ve posted before about sightings of the orange bishop, an exotic, sub-Saharan African bird species that was introduced into Los Angeles in the 1980’s. Recently, one has been spending a lot of time in our sunflowers and even though we love our native birds, can’t get enough of this little beauty.

JUNE 24, 2014 · 12:51 PM

Bike-In Movie this Saturday @VIADUCT

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!

MAY 22, 2014 · 9:59 AM

Construction Update

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.

APRIL 14, 2014 · 3:26 PM


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!

APRIL 11, 2014 · 11:02 AM

Interested in Working for State Parks?! See Below!

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!




A Foggy Day at LASHP

FRINGE LA: The Exiles (1961)

A series of movies that shine light on Angelenos who have been marginalized and ignored by popular cinematic representations of the city. Join us under the Broadway St. bridge in Los Angeles State Historic Park and immerse yourself in these enthralling, exciting, and highly personal masterpieces, that exist beyond the edges of Hollywood and right in the heart of the fringe.

The Exiles (dir. Kent Mackenzie, 73min.)
Bunker Hill, Los Angeles, 1961.
Spend one night with a group of Native American Indians as they dance, drink, gamble, drive, carouse and still find time to explore the depths of depression, disappointment, and loneliness. This masterpiece (rediscovered only a few years ago!) not only shows a Lost Angeles like no other, but gets deeper into the human psyche than almost any other film. Mixing poetic voice-over confessionals, with exhilarating documentary-like photography, rocking period music, and the soulful details of an oppressed culture pushed to the edge, The Exiles is not to be missed!

In the Viaduct, viewers have a breathtaking view of the illuminated Los Angeles skyline from under the massive concrete vaulted ceiling. The film is projected against the concrete wall (actually the Gold Line incline) under the bridge, and the train whizzes by overhead throughout the evening. There will be a campfire for roasting marshmallows, and a popcorn machine. We have hay bales and outdoor chairs for seating. Please bring blankets and beverages. The event is free and open to the public.

The Historic North Broadway Bridge traverses the north end of Los Angeles State Historic Park. The Beaux Arts bridge was built in 1911 and is one of the twelve historic bridges that crosses the LA River. California State Parks realized that this architecturally beautiful bridge, particularly the underside, was underutilized and not easily accessible to the public. In an effort to connect with the burgeoning downtown arts community, we’ve been working to create programming that will engage the public with the park in new and exciting ways. We conceived of the LA Noir series as a way to bring the public to the bridge to enjoy film in an unusual and historic setting. The North Broadway Bridge was originally called the “Buena Vista Viaduct.” Thus, The Viaduct.

The River School and Suzanne Siegel at Rio de Los Angeles State Park!

Thank you to Tara Alton and her class for their hard work and creativity! Thank You to Suzanne Siegel for all her pioneering radiance! Thank you to Denis and Daniel of State Parks for bringing water and supporting our process!

We hope everyone enjoys the work we did together! Check it out at the park!

Happy Holidays

DECEMBER 16, 2013 · 1:42 PM


We found these two sweet dogs happily running through our sprinklers today. The are extremely friendly and are probably missed by their owner. Please help us spread the word and get these sweet doggies home! They are currently at the North Central Animal Shelter located at 3201 Lacy St. Los Angeles  CA 90031 . 




We had a wonderful evening this past thursday wrapping up our LA Noir series. Thank you so much to our curators Gina Dell’Amico and Jakob Brugge.

Our next film series will begin in Janruary.

Until Then…..

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) — November 14th — 7pm

Join us at the Viaduct for a free outdoor screening William Friedkin’s grandchild of noir, To Live and Die in L.A. Dress warm and come out for a romantic evening under the Broadway Bridge!

In the Viaduct, viewers have a breathtaking view of the illuminated Los Angeles skyline from under the massive concrete vaulted ceiling. The film is projected against the concrete wall (actually the Gold Line incline) under the bridge, and the train whizzes by overhead throughout the evening. There will be a campfire for roasting marshmallows, and a popcorn machine. We have hay bales and outdoor chairs for seating. Please bring blankets and beverages. The event is free and open to the public.

The Historic North Broadway Bridge traverses the north end of Los Angeles State Historic Park. The Beaux Arts bridge was built in 1911 and is one of the twelve historic bridges that crosses the LA River. California State Parks realized that this architecturally beautiful bridge, particularly the underside, was underutilized and not easily accessible to the public. In an effort to connect with the burgeoning downtown arts community, we’ve been working to create programming that will engage the public with the park in new and exciting ways. We conceived of the LA Noir series as a way to bring the public to the bridge to enjoy film in an unusual and historic setting. The North Broadway Bridge was originally called the “Buena Vista Viaduct.” Thus, The Viaduct.

In A Lonely Place Screened at the Viaduct this past Thursday!

Join us next month for a screening of To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)!

In the Viaduct, viewers have a breathtaking view of the illuminated Los Angeles skyline from under the massive concrete vaulted ceiling. The film is projected against the concrete wall (actually the Gold Line incline) under the bridge, and the train whizzes by overhead throughout the evening. There will be a campfire for roasting marshmallows, and a popcorn machine. We have hay bales and outdoor chairs for seating, and folks are encouraged to bring blankets and beverages. The event is free and open to the public.
The Historic North Broadway Bridge traverses the north end of Los Angeles State Historic Park. The Beaux Arts bridge was built in 1911 and is one of the twelve historic bridges that crosses the LA River. California State Parks realized that this architecturally beautiful bridge, particularly the underside, was underutilized and not easily accessible to the public. In an effort to connect with the burgeoning downtown arts community, we’ve been working to create programming that will engage the public with the park in new and exciting ways. We conceived of the LA Noir series as a way to bring the public to the bridge to enjoy film in an unusual and historic setting. The North Broadway Bridge was originally called the “Buena Vista Viaduct.” Thus, The Viaduct.


An unforgettable show! Thanks to all who came out, and thank you to Edward

FYF 2013!

HARD Summer, H20 and FYF!

JULY 26, 2013 · 2:16 PM

HARD Summer Music Festival

HARD Summer Music Festival is right around the corner!

PLEASE NOTE: LASHP will be CLOSED to the public Saturday August 3rd and Sunday August 4th. 


Come out to our first screening at the Viaduct under the Broadway St. Bridge! Bring your own beverages and blankets to watch this LA classic projected onto the concrete under the arch.

Just drive down to the end of Baker St. for the entrance. There will be plenty of parking! POPCORN!

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

JULY 19, 2013 · 7:33 AM

Nocturnal Creatures


Thanks to everyone who came out for out “Creatures of the Night” campfire last Saturday.  Over 150 participants enjoyed an activity filled summer evening tailored toward nocturnal animals and urban night skies. With telescopes and star-gazing, a drum circle, animal scavenger hunt, craft tables,  and a live animal wildlife program followed by roasting marshmallows, the park bustled with families and fun-filled learning opportunities.  The campfire was a great success thanks to  help from our partners at National Park Service, Mountains and Recreation Conservation Authority, the Children’s Nature Institute and Los Angeles Audubon. We look forward to future events and collaboration!

Creatures of the Night Campfire at LASHP This Past Weekend

Owls! Foxes! Porcupines! Scorpions! Snakes! Birds of Prey! Drum Circles! Craft activities! and Marshmellows!!

Thanks to all who came out for our fabulous campfire event this past Saturday. See you next time!

JULY 15, 2013 · 3:47 PM

Renegade Craft Fair July 20th & 21st

The Renegade Craft Fair is right around the corner. LASHP will be host to this wonderful event July 20th and 21st. The Renegade Craft Fair is described as “The Renegade Craft Fair (RCF) is a curated indie-craft marketplace showcasing the brightest talents in contemporary craft and design.  Our fairs bring hundreds of makers out of their studios and workshops and into the spotlight for a festive weekend celebration of all things handmade. ” Join us this coming weekend and enjoy some unique treasures!

Everything is Medicine

Smelling Cowboy’s Deoderant (California Sage)

Today Olivia Chumacero led a workshop in LASHP on native plants. I learned that California Sage can be spread upon your skin to protect you from Poison Oak! When I asked her if poisonous plants always grew near there antidotes she said, “I don’t say the word poisonous, because it promotes fear. There are plants everywhere that balance each others energy.”

-Elizabeth (Park Interpretive Specialist)

JULY 1, 2013 · 1:27 PM

CAMPFIRE!! July 13th 2013

Summer is officially here and for many of you regulars here at LASHP you know this means…. CAMPFIRES!

California State Parks has teamed up with multiple agencies this year to bring you the best campfire yet! The night will be filled with plenty of “Creatures of the Night Sky”. Our program  will include crafts, hands on activities, a drum circle and live animals. Please join us on JULY 13th 2013 from 6:00pm-9:00pmfor the campfire and feel free to come early and bring a picnic to the park!


MARCH 2, 2013 · 3:56 PM

The Adventures of “Hawk Finn”

If you have spent time at Los Angeles State Historic Park lately chances are you have seen our resident Hawk. This hawk, whom we have happily named “Hawk Finn”, is an adventurous and well fed hawk. Hawk Finn feeds in the park on critters and flies low, giving visitors a front row seat to the dining show. If you see Hawk Finn in the park grab your cameras fast, he usually moves about fairly rapidly.

JANUARY 24, 2013 · 8:46 AM

Swedish House Mafia at LASHP

Los Angeles State Historic Park will be the host of Swedish House Mafia’s last tour dates. The shows are set for March 8th and 9th.

For further information regarding this event, ticketing prices, and more call: 1-800-653-8000     or visit their website:

JANUARY 8, 2013 · 10:03 AM

Goodbye Huell…

A sad day for California State Parks as we learned yesterday of the passing of Huell Howser. We were very fortunate to have Huell visit here and feature Los Angeles State Historic Park in his Downtown series. His enthusiasm, sincerity, and abiding passion for all things Californian will be deeply missed.

NOVEMBER 24, 2012 · 3:58 PM

Renegade Craft Fair Right Around the Corner

The Renegade Craft Fair is gearing up to return to Los Angeles State Historic Park. On Saturday December 8th from 10am-5pm LASHP will be buzzing with creativity. The Renegade Craft Fair is described as ” a large scale marketplace event, showcasing the work of contemporary indie-craft artists. Featuring hundreds of artists at a time, vendors travel from all over to sell their handmade goods and original artwork.” Admission into the park is free and as always, dogs on leash are welcome. The Renegade Craft Fair says they will ” be presenting a curated collection of some of today’s best + brightest indie makers from Los Angeles and beyond.”

SEPTEMBER 7, 2012 · 9:53 AM

Event Season

Summer is the busy season at Los Angeles State Historic Park with the months of August/September bookended by two major events, the HARD Summer Music Festival and the FYF Fest. Both of these events expanded for 2012, covering two weekend days, attracting thousands of visitors and considerable media attention.  From the Hollywood Reporter, “The first of the FYF Festival’s current downtown incarnation to be held over two days, it gave the appearance  of settling in nicely as the city’s biggest, most official music festival. Think: a local Coachella, or, in the absence of the long-running Sunset Junction, a welcome gathering of music and art on LA’s east side.” Earlier in the year, Gary Richards, the force behind HARD Summer spoke to the New York Times about Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, as an emerging mainstream genre with a huge young audience and revenue potential, “I’ve been working in this for 20 years and nobody cared. Now it’s so massive that everybody wants a piece of it.”  According to the Times, “The big dance festivals have built themselves into valuable brands, able to sell tickets on their name alone and the immersive audio-visual spectacles they present.”  LASHP is excited to grow along with HARD and FYF, becoming not only a park, but a premier venue for these very LA-centric events and a self-supporting model for parks throughout the California State Park system.

LASHP diversified further this year, welcoming Univision’s H20 Festival on August 25th.  Univision, and co-sponsor MiO, teamed up to offer an eclectic mix of Latin and English language artists. With two stages and over 19 acts, ranging from Paulina Rubio, John Legend, Ozomatli, and Snoop Dogg, the line-up offered something for everyone. With food trucks, a vendor village, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship trailer, this was truly a family friendly event. The festival appealed to a wider age range and more diverse audience than the electronic centered HARD and Indie focused FYF.  . Attracting a relatively modest attendance of 8,000, the event was comfortable and the crowd relaxed, with plenty of room and space to grab a little shade beneath our alders, sycamores and willows.

HARD Summer




UFC trailer at H20





AUGUST 8, 2012 · 8:08 AM

Summer Campfires Return!

Now that the  HARD Summer music festival has come and gone, we are back to park business as usual and very excited to announce our partnership with the National Park Service for our summer campfire series. Please join us this Friday for a special presentation on urban wildlife  by the NPS Rangers. Bring the kids and picnic for a fun and educational evening at the park!

AUGUST 8, 2012 · 7:51 AM

Siempre Agua

Please join Metabolic Studio for a presentation by artist Lauren Bon about her new water wheel project and LASHP’s long awaited connection/re-connection to the Los Angeles River.  I see wetlands in our future…


JUNE 27, 2012 · 1:21 PM

HARD Summer Returns to LASHP

Second Annual Earth Day Latino!

MARCH 16, 2012 · 2:29 PM

Campfire and Nature Walk

Even though it looks like rain for now, keep the first Friday and Saturday of the upcoming months in mind. For those sunny days and warm, clear evenings, join Olivia Chumacero for campfires and nature walks among the native plants.

JANUARY 31, 2012 · 3:12 PM

Join us for a Public Meeting

Plans for LASHP are moving right along. To find out more, please join us for our final public meeting on Thursday, February 16th at 7:00 pm, across at the Street at LACC. Hope to see you there!


SEPTEMBER 28, 2011 · 11:56 AM

Your Weekly Park Polaroid


SEPTEMBER 28, 2011 · 8:56 AM

Uncovering The Past

Beginning to Uncover the Past

Visitors to Los Angeles State Historic Park (LASHP) often wonder what exactly makes our park historical. This is due to the fact that most of our material history is underground. This past week, State Park archaeologists have been at LASHP uncovering some of that history.

The Dig Begins

In 1875, the Southern Pacific Railroad made its way into what is now downtown Los Angeles, connecting the city to the transcontinental railroad in the north. The property chosen for the new passenger depot and yard was located in what is now the middle section of the park and was considered far from the existing town center at the time. 4 years later, in 1879, passenger traffic had increased to the extent that a hotel was constructed next to the depot, offering weary travelers a respite with a “parlor sitting room” and restaurant serving quick “25 minute meals.”

The Entrance of the Hotel

This past week State archaeologists uncovered the foundation of the hotel and what was once the ice house for the rail yard. Based on their current excavation, we now know that the ice house walls went much further down than originally thought. It appears the ice was kept cool below ground in something much like a basement. They also located what they believe to be a hotel water closet, based on terra cotta and metal piping that was found.

The Hotel

Here are a few photos documenting the dig and illustrating how the layers of history within our park continue to reveal hidden stories about the park and the city’s past.

Foundations of Rooms at the Hotel

The Hotel

The Ice House


MAY 27, 2011 · 10:39 AM

Your Weekly Polaroid

Deer Grass

APRIL 28, 2011 · 2:05 PM

Outdoor Film Fest

Outdoor Film Fest

We are happy to announce that Los Angeles State Historic Park will kick off the summer event season by welcoming the Outdoor Film Festival for another series of movie nights! The cinematic celebration begins May 28th. Check their website for up-to-date lists of films and dates. See you there!

APRIL 28, 2011 · 2:02 PM

Your Weekly Polaroid

Fava Beans

APRIL 28, 2011 · 8:46 AM

Exciting Events at Rio de Los Angeles

River Event

Rio de Los Angeles

APRIL 27, 2011 · 3:34 PM

Food for Thought…

First billboard from the Eco-Interns working with REMAP LA. Check out more student work on nature, history, and civic engagement in Los Angeles.

APRIL 27, 2011 · 11:14 AM

Freedom Festival 2011

Freedom Festival

Freedom Festival 2011 is a celebration of humanity through music and art. Everyone is invited to come as you are and be proud of the unique existence that you occupy. Gay, straight, fierce, pierced, conservative or unconventional – you are Free to Be!

APRIL 26, 2011 · 1:21 PM

Dog Of The Week


Meet Skybear. This photograph was taken a few months ago when Skybear was a puppy. But believe it or not, he is still just as adorable. Skybear visits the park often with his people who work right across the street at Farmlab. They think that this little cutie is a Bichon Frise mix. He is about 10 months old and he always remembers to wear his leash in the park! Thanks for visiting us Skybear, we hope to see you again soon!


APRIL 2, 2011 · 9:13 AM



For those of you looking for a fun event on Sunday April 10th, we’ve got just the thing for you! CicLAvia is just around the corner and guaranteed to be a blast. We went last year and it was fascinating to ride bikes on car-less streets, especially in Los Angeles. This month’s route is the same as last year, which takes you through normally car congested streets. But on April 10th, the streets will be closed to cars. Instead you will find cyclists, pedestrians, skate boarders, roller bladers and more! Come support this amazing event, and if you are looking for a place to picnic after biking, LASHP is sure to have the space and pleasant spring weather! Hope to see you there!

APRIL 2, 2011 · 8:10 AM

Sunset Campfire Season is Here!


To kick off our Summer Sunset Campfire series we’ve invited some of our favorite friends, Wildworks, to join us in celebrating Earth Day. Mollie from the Nature of Wildworks offers a fascinating and informative program featuring rescued urban wildlife. We hope that you can join us, along with The William C. Velasquez Institute, that will also be hosting a great event in the park. WCVI has some great stuff planned for the kids including camping, tree planting, a movie screening and a 5 K walk. Sounds like quite a day! Get your marshmallows ready!

MARCH 21, 2011 · 3:29 PM

Happy Spring!

MARCH 19, 2011 · 1:01 PM

Name That Bird

Name That Bird

We spotted these two beauties earlier this morning. We have some guesses, but would love to hear what you come up with! Comment below if you think you can name that bird.


MARCH 10, 2011 · 2:36 PM

Your Weekly Polaroid

Growing California Poppy

MARCH 9, 2011 · 1:10 PM

Park User Submission: Botanical

African Daisy

Here at LASHP we are excited to begin accepting more photos and information from park users like you! Here is a photograph of an african daisy, submitted by park visitor Lisa. She informed us that the daisy is an invasive species that is also known as Dimorphotheca aurantiaca from the Asteraceae family. This photograph taken by Lisa was shot on an iphone using a macro lens.

We have seen these beautiful, but pesky, invasive plants in the park for sometime. With 2″-4″ flowers, at a distance they can often be mistaken for the California Poppy. But these are not native, and tend to be a bit darker orange than the poppy. And unlike the native poppy, african daisies range in color, from orange, to purple and pink.

Thank you for this wonderful submission Lisa, and we look forward to others to come.

MARCH 3, 2011 · 3:04 PM

The Ants Go Marching



Ant Hills



We were happy to observe this group of ants as they worked feverishly in the park soil. Ants aerate and decompose soil, two of many benefits that ants provide. Often, they fend off pests that can destroy flowers in the park. So if you see ants in the park, please do not disturb them. We greatly appreciate the work they do!

MARCH 3, 2011 · 2:41 PM

People Of The Park


Meet Natalie. Natalie lives in Downtown Los Angeles and came down to the park today to run. She says she visits the park often for runs, and was enjoying the mild weather. She runs 5 miles! Thanks for visiting us today Natalie, keep up the great work and we hope to see you soon!

MARCH 1, 2011 · 5:14 PM

The Bugs Are Back In Town







The ladybug population in the park comes in cycles and it looks as though it is picking up. Naturally, when the plants bloom, the ladybugs appear, but not before the aphids. I spotted more than five ladybugs on a short walk around the park today. Not only that, but it seems to be mating season, so we expect to have many more in the park soon! If you are visiting us at LASHP, take a moment to see how many you can count!

MARCH 1, 2011 · 9:55 AM

Dog Of The Week


Meet Wolfie. Wolfie is a 2 year old rescue. His breed is unknown, but his owner, Joey thinks he may be a Border Collie, German Shepard mix. Wolfie was relaxing in the park after a long walk. Thanks for being our dog of the week Wolfie, and thank you for wearing your leash!

FEBRUARY 28, 2011 · 12:12 PM

An Evolving Landscape

The area in front of our LASHP office has gone through a series of interesting changes since we moved in back in November 2008. We started out with pretty much nothing but a view of the skyline. Seeing that the front yard could use a little love, our neighbors from Metabolic Studio/Farmlab stepped up by planting some deer grass and then seeding the front with a wildflower mix. The result was a lovely, if slightly surreal array, of large, colorful sunflowers dotted with native California poppy and arroyo lupine.

June 2009

By the following spring, we realized with dismay, that invasive African daisieshad hitched a ride in the previous season’s wildflower mix and were taking over, crowding out our native poppies and lupine. So we went to battle, eradicating the pests in preparation for Earth Day and a new palette of native trees and vegetation.

Arroyo Lupine loosing ground to the invaders

Earth Day 2010 – April

The plan was to get a head start on the final park design which envisions the northern end, where we’re located, as natural habitat and future connecting point with the Los Angeles River. Less than a year later, our tiny trees have come along way. And though we still find ourselves pulling the occasional African daisy, we’re pleased with how our new plants are coming along. White sage, deer grass, fushia, toyon, ceonothus, and more have taken root, and while we haven’t been without set-backs, namely loosing a lot of sage to over-watering (an unfortunate combination of heavy rainfall and irrigation) we see the garden as a successful work in progress. Stay tuned to learn more about native plants and watch our garden grow.

Volunteers planting our Earth Day saplings

Happy Trees – Autumn 2010

Native Plants – Winter 2011


FEBRUARY 26, 2011 · 11:32 AM

Lupine Watch






Each year the park goes through phases of plant life. We are watching now as the Arroyo Lupines begin popping up throughout the park. Before we know it we will have fields of purple and green. Keep your eyes peeled for wildflower tours that we will have in the park as more colors start to appear.


JANUARY 27, 2011 · 7:25 AM

Your Weekly Polaroid

“A nice day in the park.”

JANUARY 26, 2011 · 2:12 PM

Dog Of The Week

Elphie The Dog

Meet Elphie. He is a 3 1/2 year old Yorkie who was spotted enjoying the nice warm weather at the park today with his owner Stacy. As always, we were glad to see a dog like Elphie happily wearing his leash and enjoying the park. Thanks Elphie and we hope to see you soon.

JANUARY 18, 2011 · 2:03 PM

Camera Obscura!

Students entering their handmade Camera Obscura.

If you visited LASHP last week you may have noticed a small white tent tucked away at the south end of our park. We were lucky enough to visit with Joey and his students from Oakwood who were gracious enough to let us inside their homemade Camera Obscura. For those that may be unfamiliar, Camera Obscura loosely translates to “darkened chamber/room,” and that is essentially what the white tent was. If you look at the last picture you can see a small black square in the center of the tent, this is where the lens was mounted that then reflected the light on to the backside of the tent, creating an image of the park. As the Goldline train passed by, its image grew larger and larger and ruffled the tent, making for quite the exciting experience.

This is basically how a Camera Obscura works

Below is a photograph of what was projected inside the tent; unfortunately, it is really only something that can be experienced first hand. Click on the image to see it larger and see if you can make out the park and remember, the image is upside down.

Sadly, my digital camera was unable to capture the projected image very well.

Not surprisingly, the Camera Obscura was an early precursor to photography and in its day was (and still is) an exciting form of entertainment. Thanks again to Joey and his class for sharing their awesome creation with us here at the park and keep an eye out because they are taking their creation to other exciting spots through Los Angeles.

Joey and his class from Oakwood proudly showing off their Camera Obscura

DECEMBER 21, 2010 · 10:21 AM

The Lupines Have Come Early This Year

Rain clouds blanket the Downtown skyline

With all the rain we have received over the past few days, it seemed like a prime opportunity to see what new plants may be gracing our park. A short hike through the park revealed one of our favorite wildflowers has already started to bloom, the Arroyo Lupine! Although the Lupines have not fully developed; it fun to imagine the sea of purple that will blanket our park come March. So if you are jonesing for some wildflowers, now you know where to start.

Rain drops on the leaves of an Arroyo Lupine


An early bud of the Arroyo Lupine flower


A cluster of Arroyo Lupines.

NOVEMBER 23, 2010 · 11:39 AM

I Spy A Great Egret…

A Great Egret hunts gophers at the north end of L.A. State Historic Park.

NOVEMBER 19, 2010 · 9:45 AM

Back on Track!

After a challenging 2 years of budget cuts and frozen bond projects, California State Parks is ready to move forward and resume the planning process at Los Angeles State Historic Park. New designs will be unveiled at a public meeting on December 9, 2010 as State Parks prepares to deliver on its much anticipated promise to construct a fully activated 32 acre park in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.

Over the past several years State Parks has engaged the local community in an extensive series of public meetings and planning workshops during which they shared their visions for the park’s future. Given the current economic climate, new plans reflect this vision through a more modest design and realistic approach to park development. State Parks will utilize currently available funding for the project and work within parameters that are not reliant on outside funding or philanthropic dollars. A phased approach to park development will offer a baseline build out of the full 32 acres, laying the groundwork for future funding opportunities.

At this December 9th public meeting, the community will see a revised version of the park phase I plan. They will see a welcome station pavilion, grand promenade, an interpretative play area, an archeological display site that highlights the former railroad roundhouse on the site, an amphitheatre, a farmer’s market area, trails throughout the park, wetland areas, and green open spaces for multiple activities.

NOVEMBER 9, 2010 · 7:39 AM

Good Morning From LASHP



SEPTEMBER 11, 2010 · 9:20 AM

California Fuchsia, a friendly wildflower

The California Fuchsia plant

As some park users may have noticed, along with 150 trees that were planted at the north end the park, we also planted numerous native wild flowers and low-lying sage scrub. One of these new plantings being, the California Fuchsia. The California Fuchsia plant is willowherb and is native to California. If you are looking to attract hummingbirds and bees to your garden but also wish to plant a native plant, than look no further than the California Fuchsia.

the beautiful bright flower of the California Fuchsia


A Hummingbird searches for her next California Fuchsia plant

Prior to planting, hummingbirds were nearly nonexistent here at the north end of the park, after planting we see at least three a day. Since they are native, they require very little water and are very tolerant of heat. If you have any questions about plants at L.A. State Historic Park, feel free to call the Park Interpretive Specialist at (three two three) 441-8819.

A bee gathers nectar from a California Fuchsia

SEPTEMBER 2, 2010 · 8:20 AM

Dog Of The Week

Brandy the Cocker Spaniel

After far too long, we return with a new dog of the week. The winner for this week is…..Brandy! He is a 12 year old American Cocker Spaniel, who can found being walked early in the mourning at L.A. State Historic Park. He may be an older dog, but it is his walks in the park that keep him sprightly and mobile.

Brandy limbering up


SEPTEMBER 1, 2010 · 11:44 AM

FYF Fest This Saturday

FYF Fest this Saturday, tix $30, doors open at noon

This Saturday, September 4th, Los Angeles State Historic Park will host, for a second year in a row, the FYF Fest. Tickets are $30 and doors open at noon. With over 30 bands performing, there seems to be something for everyone. There will be lots of food trucks with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, as well a meat based dishes. If you are on the fence, here are some bands that we are excited about seeing.
AUGUST 28, 2010 · 3:20 PM

Our Next Sunset Campfire, 3 Weeks From Today!

Our next Sunset Campfire on Sept. 18 at 6:30pm here at LASHP

Well as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, or in the case a seven month hiatus. Yes indeed, come out September 18th at 6:30pm for our last Summer Sunset Campfire of the 2010 season. Not to worry though because Sunset Campfires will return in April 2011, but until then, make sure you come out to our final campfire for the 2010 season to satiate your need for local history and roasted marshmallows.

Like always we will be meeting in the center of Los Angeles State Historic Park at 6:30pm. Feel free to come early and bring a picnic dinner to enjoy in the park prior to the start of the campfire. We will sing songs, learn about the nature and history that surrounds us and of course we will be roasting marshmallows. If you have any questions email Thomas at or give him a call at (three two three) 441-8819. And of course, this event to free and fun for the whole family.

AUGUST 25, 2010 · 12:30 PM

Thanks For Coming To The Campfire

Here are some photos from last Saturday night.

Getting tuned up for a campfire sing-a-long




Everyone is learning about the Zanja Madre


Getting ready for the marshmallow roast


JULY 16, 2010 · 1:33 PM

Special Dog Of The Week

Bogart the dog is looking for a nice home

Greetings, meet Bogart the dog. Now you may be wondering why Bogart has been bestowed with the title of Special Dog Of The Week, well Bogart is looking for a permanent home. That’s right, I was sent these photos by Bogart’s foster parents while he was enjoying L.A. State Historic Park, saying that Bogart is a loving dog who is looking for nice family to play with. Bogart’s foster mom describes him as this:

Bogart is a spirited 2.5 year-old Beagle mix about 20lbs in size who is housebroken and fixed. Bogart is curious about what’s going on around him, and inside he will gladly lay at your feet and follow you around the house. He is quiet, very rarely barks, but whines for a few minutes when someone is leaving the house. Once outside, Bogart is energetic, ready to run around and investigate. He is a confident dog, eager to meet and play with other dogs and people. Bogart could work well in a house or apartment setting as long as he has time outside once or twice a day to play.

If you are interested in adopting Bogart follow this link. There you can email this foster dog house and get the ball rolling. Of course, Bogart could never have been Special Dog Of The Week if he hadn’t been wearing his leash.

Bogart the dog

JULY 3, 2010 · 12:48 PM

Our Next Summer Sunset Campfire

Come one, come all to our July 10th campfire

One week from today, we will be having our July Sunset Campfire and its shaping up to be tons of fun for the whole family. Now it may seem like it is coming a week earlier than normal and it seems that way because it is in fact coming a week earlier. We normally have it the third Saturday of the summer months, but the third Saturday of this month we are having a big a concert in the park, so we made the campfire a week earlier. We have some awesome archeology going on in the park right now, so we will be talking about that, singing songs, and of course, roasting marshmallows. So come out on July 10th, at 6:30pm, and meet in the center of the park. This event is free and open to the public and bring a picnic dinner along if you like. Contact Thomas at (three two three) 441-8819 with any questions. Hope to see you there.

JULY 3, 2010 · 10:15 AM

Dogs Of The Week

Pancake (on the left) and Duke (on the right)

We return this week with not one, but two dogs of the week. Meet Pancake (the two year old Kishu Inu on the left) and Duke (the two year old Maltese mix on the right). They were former pound mates at the North Central Division of LA Animal Services and love taking walks at Los Angeles State Historic Park. They are quite lucky to have found their currents owners and like all other winners of the coveted title of “Dog Of The Week,” they always wear their leashes.

JULY 2, 2010 · 4:03 PM

Downey Pool Almost Open

Kiddie pool in the fore ground and adult pool behind.

Just across the Los Angeles River from our park, you can find the Downey Rec Center as well as the Downey Pool. The pool that was once in the present pool’s place was shut down in 2006 amid structural problems and sat ignored and derelict. Last June, Councilmen Reyes along with other local dignitaries, broke ground and proclaimed that the pool would open June 20th 2010. Well it looks like that promise has been kept. From what we can see, workers are busy putting the final touches on the new aquatic arena. So once it opens, you can work up a sweat at Los Angeles State Historic Park, hop across the LA river and take a cooling dip at the new Downey pool. We will be sure to keep you updated as to when pool officially opens. Enjoy!

The pool as seen from the North Spring Street Bridge

JUNE 9, 2010 · 4:04 PM

Our Next Sunset Campfire!

Come one, come all. June 19th marks our third summer sunset campfire here at Los Angeles State Historic Park. For this campfire, we will be roasting marshmallows and learning about the history of the park. The campfire will be starting at 6:30pm in the center of the park, but feel free to come earlier and bring a picnic dinner and blanket and relax in the park. Any questions, give Thomas a call at 323.441.8819

JUNE 9, 2010 · 10:07 AM

Dog Of The Week

Gumbo the dog.

We return to Dog Of The Week with a dog that is nothing short of great. Meet Gumbo the dog; he is a 7 year old akita-pitbull-great dane mix. Now most people who meet Gumbo for the first time are somewhat weary of approaching him, but if you take the chance, you will be greatly rewarded. He is a giant dog with an even bigger heart, who gladly accepts pets from anyone brave enough to approach. I mean how could you fear a dog with such a big smile.

Look at the smile.

JUNE 8, 2010 · 3:47 PM

Introducing Our Weather Station

We are very excited to announce that we just installed our brand new weather station here at Los Angeles State Historic Park. Now we can begin to understand the various microclimates and weather patterns of the park and surrounding areas. We are currently installing software that will automatically update a ticker on the blog with the current weather, but in the mean time, we will be tweeting the current weather of the park. As I typed this, we are receiving 13 mph winds coming from the south, exciting stuff! Keep checking our tweeter for weather updates and we will let you know as soon as we get the software installed.

JUNE 8, 2010 · 2:37 PM

On Spring Opens!

Check out the hand painted sign and mural

Last Saturday, amongst much fanfare, On Spring officially opened it doors (or windows to be more accurate) to the general public. The day featured live music and spoken word performances courtesy of Hen House Studios, fresh-brewed coffee and healthy salads, sandwiches and soups. The building that On Spring now occupies was originally known as Sam’s Lunch which was built in 1949. Sam served hamburgers to hungry railroad workers up until his daughter, Millie, took over the family business. Rechristened as Millie’s, she served similar american fast food until she closed up shop in 2002. Park Maintenance Chief, Andre Jones, remembers Millie’s food and according to him you got your burger her way, or no way. “Better not ask for ketchup.”

We here at CA State Parks, are very excited to be a part of the evolution of this small hamburger stand turned locavore eatery. Hopefully, On Spring will be more accommodating to individual tastes. The cafe is located at the South end of L.A. State Historic Park (near the Chinatown Gold Line stop) and is currently open Tuesday through Saturday, 7:00am to 3:00pm, but look for these hours to expand as summer approaches. Our sunset walkers and joggers may soon be tempted by an after workout snack.

Ample seating!

MAY 12, 2010 · 4:25 PM

May 22nd Sunset Campfire!

Come join park staff for our second Summer Sunset Campfire! We will be learning about animals, roasting marshmallows, and just having a good time. Bring the whole family and picnic dinner and enjoy the sunset as it sets behind the downtown skyline. The campfire is happening on May 22nd at 6:30pm here at LA State Historic Park. If you have any questions, call Thomas at (323) 441-8819. Hope to see you there!

MAY 6, 2010 · 12:52 PM

Dog Of The Week!

Meet Dei-Dai

Meet Dei-Dai. She a two year old yellow lab who is a ball of energy and loves her walks around the park. Although the temperatures are rising, you won’t see Dei-Dai slowing down any time soon and as always she couldn’t have been dog of the week if she hadn’t of been wearing her leash.

APRIL 29, 2010 · 11:49 AM

What A Great Sunset Campfire!

In case you missed it, we had a great Sunset Campfire over the weekend. Wild Works brought numerous amazing animals that they rescued and resuscitated and of course the night ended with a marshmallow roast. Thanks very much to everyone who came out and you can look forward to our next campfire on the May 22nd.

Getting the campfire started…


Time for the puppet show!


Mollie of Wild Works and her assistant show us snakes


After that we saw a Red-Tailed Hawk and an American Kestrel


Mollie’s Assistant and a beautiful Barn Owl.


A Red Fox surveys the park.

All photographs by Keleigh Apperson


MARCH 4, 2010 · 12:55 PM

Your Moment of Tranquility

For all those park users who aren’t able to make it out to Los Angeles State Historic Park on this beautiful day; we bring you a moment of tranquility to enjoy where ever you may be.

FEBRUARY 26, 2010 · 3:46 PM

Dog Of The Week

Maggie the Bulldog

Well it’s a new week and you know what that means, our next winner of the much coveted title of Dog Of The Week. This week’s winner is a 3 year old female Bulldog named Maggie. From what she told us, even though she has to wear a leash, she picks our park 9 times out of ten for her exercise with her owner. Thanks Maggie, hope to see you soon.

FEBRUARY 26, 2010 · 11:45 AM


With a new native landscape plan in the works our maintenance crew is busy preparing the soil in front of our office for all the new plants. While poking around in front yesterday we noticed some broken pottery pieces with Chinese characters that appear quite old. Bit of the material culture from the Southern Pacific Railroad days perhaps? Any of our cultural resource specialists care to weigh in? Leave your comments!

FEBRUARY 26, 2010 · 9:41 AM

An Idyllic Photo From LASHP, Filling Your Wallpaper Needs

Click on photograph to download full size

FEBRUARY 26, 2010 · 9:19 AM

The Offending Flowers

Pull My Daisy

You may have seen from the previous post that we are making way for some new native plants out in front of our operations office. Here’s a nice visual to illustrate the impact of the invading non-native African Daisy. Such a lonely Arroyo Lupine…

FEBRUARY 19, 2010 · 10:04 AM

♫ Where Have All The Flowers Gone ♪

Where are the African Daisies?

Many of you who have passed by the northern edge of the park recently may have found yourself wondering, “where have all the flowers gone?” The reason why the sea of yellow and orange has been flooded with a layer of brown mulch is two fold. The first one being that we here at Los Angeles State Historic Park want to preserve the history of Los Angeles and an important facet of that is the horticultural history of L.A. That is why you will only find native plants growing within the boundaries of LASHP (aside from the plantings inside the anabolic monument, the circle at the north end of the park). Not surprisingly, African Daises are not native to Southern California and the decision was made to remove them.

So what are we going to plant in their place? Come April 17th, thanks to a generous grant from the California State Parks Foundation, Northeast Trees (a local non-profit) along with dozens of volunteers will be planting 150 trees around the north end of the park. We’ve brought in truck loads of mulch to create a more hospitable environment for soon-to-be new neighbors. The Earth Day is open to the public and planting will begin around 10:00am for all those who may interested. It may be a bit of an eyesore at the moment, but come mid-April, we might actually have some shade and the foundation of a new native plant garden at the northern edge of the park.

Fresh load of mulch getting dropped off

FEBRUARY 18, 2010 · 4:20 PM

Killdeer Sighting!

While out in the park today, we noticed a noisy Killdeer scurrying around our seasonal wetland here at Los Angeles State Historic Park. This isn’t the first time we spotted a Killdeer here in the park but that doesn’t mean we are any less excited when we spot one!

BIRD FACT: The Killdeer is a shore bird that got its name from its loud call that sounds like they are saying their name, kill deer.


DECEMBER 4, 2009 · 3:42 PM

Help Us I.D. These Birds!

We have attempted to identify the following two birds but with no success. If you recognize either of these two birds, please leave us a comment below and enlighten us!

First Mystery Bird

Second Mystery Bird Please Watch The Video

DECEMBER 4, 2009 · 9:56 AM

Friday Fotos

In case you haven’t been to our park in a while, feel free to experience the park through our photographs.

NOVEMBER 14, 2009 · 12:14 PM

Dogs of the Week

Meet Avery and Ozzie. They are best buds and like any dog of the week, they always wear their leash while exploring Los Angeles State Historic Park.

NOVEMBER 12, 2009 · 4:59 PM

A LASHP Sunset

NOVEMBER 12, 2009 · 3:28 PM

Name That Grass!

Today we are back with our first round of Name…That….Tree…..Shrub…..Grass! First off, this stout grass is a native to Southern California and was call Su.ul by the Tongva people. The seeds (pictured below) were gathered and ground into a “meal” and mixed with various other seeds.

The grass plant consists of numerous long thin stalks of grass, which were utilized by the Tongva People and other Native American groups in the art of Basket making. Also, the stalks were pulled apart and used as thread for clothing.

A bushy plant

What could this grass be…..well my friends, meet Deer Grass! Yes indeed, this grass is native and is a great landscaping grass that can be used in place of non-native invasive species like Pampas Grass or Fountain Grass.

Lovely Deer Grass

Also, an interesting side note about Deer Grass here L.A. State Historic Park is, at the south end of the park it delineates the shape of the old freight depot. Check out the outline below.

The Shape of the Old Freight Depot at the South End of the Park

NOVEMBER 9, 2009 · 4:56 PM


NOVEMBER 9, 2009 · 4:23 PM

Monday Clouds

NOVEMBER 6, 2009 · 12:28 PM

Great Egret Sighting!

What Fine Feathers You Have.

Exciting news today, a Great Egret graced our park this morning around 10:00am. It moved slowly and deliberately around the park, searching and exploring through tall Deer Grass and under Arroyo Willows. He or she seems to have a taken a liking to our park, due to the fact that last night it soared over our modular building at the north end.

A Regal Bird.

It’s always a treat when our neighbors who call the Los Angeles River home, stop by and say hi to Los Angeles State Historic Park. Who knows once the rains come and restore our seasonal wetland, maybe we will be seeing more of this Great Egret. In the mean time, enjoy these photographs.


NOVEMBER 3, 2009 · 11:38 AM

A Cal Poly Student Submisson

An abstract of LASHP by Carly McNeill

Today we bring you an abstract created by Carly McNeill; she is a landscape architecture student at Cal Poly Pomona. For one of her classes, she was asked to create an abstract of the park based on her first impression. We love it and we hope you enjoy it too. If you have any art inspired by Los Angeles State Historic Park, send it to Thomas at

NOVEMBER 2, 2009 · 1:56 PM

Western Meadowlark

While out on our weekly scout for LASHP’s dog of the week we were lucky to catch a glimpse of an unusually stationary Western Meadowlark. We’ve seen quite a few Meadowlarks in the park recently but not been able to get very satisfying photos. Here, at least we are able to see the striped detail on the feathers, the yellow coloring, and long, pointed bill. So strange that this one did not immediately fly as we approached. Another nester, perhaps?

NOVEMBER 2, 2009 · 1:19 PM

Dog of the Week!


Meet Poland, our most recent DOTW. Poland is a year and a half old, white German Shephard who has some very good reasons to be smiling. Just over a month ago she was a stray wandering the streets in Chinatown. Fortunately for Poland, she was rescued by a local downtown resident and is now enjoying strolls in the park, (on her leash of course!) and getting acquainted with her new master. Enjoy your new home Poland and we hope to see back at LASHP. One lucky girl!

OCTOBER 23, 2009 · 2:57 PM

Friday Flowers



SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 · 3:15 PM

Western Meadlowlark Sighting!

Western Meadowlark!


Meadowlark singing

Today we spotted a Western Meadowlark here in the park; the first time since last spring! It’s easy to identify a Meadowlark, all you have to look for is a chunky yellow breasted bird about the size of a Scrub Jay. If for some reason the bird is obscured from view, listen for its beautiful song in open meadow lands. If this image doesn’t satisfy the birder in you then come on down to Los Angeles State Historic Park and see for yourself.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 · 9:22 AM

Dog of the week (#11)

Rocky the dog

Alright everyone, lets give a warm welcome to Toto I mean Rocky! He is a 10 month old Cairn Terrier who loves chasing tennis balls and squirrels. He was at LASHP today enjoying a leisurely stroll. No squirrels today for Rocky because he is happily wearing his leash.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 · 8:40 AM


autumnal equinox n. 1. The point at which the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator, the sun having a southerly motion. 2. The moment at which the sun passes throgh the autuemnal equinox, about Septmeber 23, marking the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.


SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 · 12:10 PM

Happy Campers

Saturday’s sunset campfire was a smashing success thanks to a great turnout of kids from the neighborhood. Our rangers and interpreters along with special guest stars courtesy of Wildworks put on a great show about local wildlife and the layers of history at LASHP. The kids from Chinatown Service Center and Solano Avenue School were all smiles – the campfire program and marshmallow roast being a first for many of the children. Topping off the evening, what could beat S’mores!

Captive Audience

Red-tailed hawk – Buteo jamaicensis

Barn Owl – Tyto alba

Red fox – Vulpes vulpes

The roast

S’more please

Urban Rangers

SEPTEMBER 9, 2009 · 8:56 AM

FYF Fest – Save Our State Parks!

Tales of Madame Wong

Yes, the highly anticipated Ffy Fest has come and gone. And from the looks of the park on Sunday, someone certainly had a good time. We had great fun with our State Parks booth showcasing the saga of Madame Wong’s vs. the Hong Kong Cafe and the ensuing Chinatown “Punk Rock Wars” that is the stuff of Los Angeles punk rock legend and lore. Our little exhibit was well-received by the younger folks to whom the story was new, and by those oldsters who’ve been around long enough to remember that punk rock and indie music have a significant and interesting history in L.A.’s Chinatown and environs. Another hit was the California State Parks Foundation, with their Save Our State Parks booth, in partnership with the festival to raise awareness regarding the dire situation and imminent closures facing many of our State Parks due to budget cuts.

Showing the love!

More love for State Parks

Best of all, were the bunches of new, young visitors who were thrilled not only to hang out and enjoy their favorite bands, but also to discover Los Angeles State Historic Park!

Check out the LA times blog for a review of the festival! Unlike some of us, they managed to stay for the after dark excitement.

SEPTEMBER 4, 2009 · 5:51 PM

Busy Week at LASHP

This past week has been full of activity between preparations for the FYF Festand a Congressional send off rally in support of health care reform by Organizing for America and Health Access Foundation California that brought hundreds of supporters, and a few protesters, to the park on Thursday. After a week of 100 degree plus temperatures and blankets of smoke from the Station Fire, the weather turned perfect for this event offering a surprisingly cool and pleasant evening. Whatever side of the debate you may be on, I think we can all agree that it’s great to see a peaceful gathering with more than enough room for differing points of view.

*No fingers were harmed at this event

SEPTEMBER 4, 2009 · 3:01 PM

FYF Fest is gearing up!

stage set up


another stage set up

And, yes, that is the Angeles National Forest in the background, going up in flames.

SEPTEMBER 3, 2009 · 12:19 PM

A train at L.A. State Historic park?!

AUGUST 29, 2009 · 12:24 PM

La Canada fire as seen from the park

Where there is smoke there is fire

AUGUST 27, 2009 · 10:47 AM


On September 5th, come on down to L.A. State Historic Park and check out what is shaping up to be an awesome event, FYF FEST presents SAVE OUR STATE PARKS. It is the sixth year of the festival but the first time it has been held at Los Angeles State Historic Park, and we are happy to house them. With well over 20 up and coming and established acts, there is sure to be something for everybody; from Providence’s own, Lighting Bolt to local bands, No Age and Mika Miko. Also appearing at the event will be comedians Tim and Eric as well as booths galore. And of course State Parks will have tent showcasing the history of the punk scene in Chinatown in the late 70s/ early 80s. So come by and say hi.

If you are unsure of whether or not you are interested, here are myspaces of bands that I am most excited for.*
Black Lips
Lightning Bolt
Mika Miko
No Age
Dan Deacon
Glass Candy

All this for only $20!

FYF Fest Line up

*CA State Parks and Los Angeles State Historic Park are not responsible for the content found on linked pages.

AUGUST 20, 2009 · 12:25 PM


Greetings everyone and welcome back to our third round of L.A.S.H.P.’s “NAME THAT TREE!” Today’s mystery guest, much like our first two, is a native of California and enjoys warm sunshine and cool refreshing water. They are a member of the Birch family and its distant relative is the Elm.

What kind of tree is that?

What nice leaves you have

And the answer is…..the Alder. Yes contestants our friend the Alder, who like all the other participants can be found here at Los Angeles State Historic Park. So come on down and give your favorite tree a hug!


JULY 15, 2009 · 1:48 PM

Black Phoebe sighting!

As twittered last week, we follow up with a photograph of a Black Phoebe that is enjoying the park as much as we do. A few quick facts about the Black Phoebe…
1. Black Phoebes are flycatchers and prefer water ways and open grassy areas to catch their prey.
2. They build mud nests, but unlike swallows, they nest alone not in large groups.
3. They can found through out the Los Angeles region through out the year.

Black Phoebe

JULY 15, 2009 · 10:38 AM


This tree is a native of Los Angeles and can be found along various water ways in the western United States. It is a deciduous small tree that has long slender leaves and and part of its name is shared by small river that joins the L.A. River close to the park.

What could this be?


Long slender leaves?

drum roll please It is the….Arroyo Willow! Gabrielino Native Americans (the original people who lived in this area) would use the branches of the willow to make bows with. In case you haven’t seen the Arroyo Willow, come on down to L.A. State Historic Park where we have many fine specimens.

JULY 7, 2009 · 12:51 PM

Empty Nest, Concrete River, and LASHP

Sadly, it appears that the LASHP Tweet received over the weekend is correct. Our resident Killdeer and chicks have indeed moved on, leaving not a trace but the two orange cones which were situated on either side of their gravelly nest. While we’re sorry to see them go, it’s still quite exciting to see a variety of birds here in the park and be reminded daily of the tremendous impact a little open space can have in supporting urban wildlife populations. At the same time, it’s sobering to think of the wildlife that has been lost over the years due to urban expansion, and in our particular location, the channelization of the Los Angeles River.

Los Angeles River

This is what the river looks like today – 52 miles of concrete, minus a scant few in the soft-bottomed Glendale Narrows where complete channelization was not possible due to a particularly high water table. Yes, Los Angeles was once home to a wild, free-flowing river. It was the river that primarily attracted the Spanish to this location, one of the few where water flowed year-round, as an ideal spot for settlement. The river was the reason that over 45 Tongva/Gabrielino Indian settlements had already been in residence along the its course for over a millennia before the Spanish arrived. The Tongva village of Yang Na, one of the largest settlements, is thought to have been located within a half mile of LASHP.

In 1769 the Portola expedition crossed the Los Angeles River near where the park meets the Broadway Bridge. From the bluff, the Spanish noted flourishing native settlements and the particular beauty of this location near the river, a verdant marshland of dense willow and sycamore. Father Crespi appreciated the fertility of the land, and wrote in his diary that they encountered “a great vineyard of (wild) grapevines and countless rose bushes having a great deal of open blossoms, all of it a very dark friable soil.” A few years later, in 1781, El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles was founded by a small group of 46 settlers.

Portola Trail marker at Elysian Park entrance off Broadway

The river was a vital component of the young agricultural village and provided the sole source of irrigation and drinking water for over a century. Water from the Los Angeles River was transported to the growing Pueblo through irrigation ditches, or zanjas. A section of the most significant channel, the Zanja Madre, or “Mother Ditch” was actually uncovered during the construction of the MTA Goldline and this brick covered remnant of the old Pueblo irrigation system is still visible from LASHP. The conveyance of water to El Pueblo was so important, in fact, that a prominent municipal position, that of Zanjero, was created in 1854 to oversee the water supply and maintenance of the zanjas.

Zanja Madre

Brick Detail on Zanja Madre

Although the river was vital to the sustenance of the Pueblo, it was also dangerous and prone to violent flooding along its meandering, undefined path. As the population of the region grew and development increased in proximity to the River’s shallow banks, the danger to residents from periodic flooding increased exponentially. Three great floods, in 1914, 1934, and 1938 all hit Los Angeles with catastrophic consequences. Public distrust of the river grew along with the expanding population. Eventually, the seasonal threats of raging flood waters were met head on by the Army Corp of Engineers which began channelizing the river in 1940 making it what it is today, a vessel for the rapid delivery of floodwater to the ocean.

So that is why LASHP no longer has a natural connection to the Los Angeles River and the historic floodplain. And it is why we relish the site of a lone pair of nesting Killdeer, where there were once Condors, and Cuckoos, Owls, and Vireos, deer and antelope roaming the region, along with mountain lions, foxes, coyotes, and even grizzly bears, coming down from the mountains to feast on steelhead trout that once filled the river. Looking at the river as it is today, it’s hard to image that less than a hundred years ago it probably looked much like this.

Santa Ana River – Riverside County

But, concrete channel or no, the Los Angeles River remains an integral component of the past and future of LASHP. During the our planning process, the local community consistently emphasized the paramount importance of re-connecting the park with the Los Angeles River. Even amidst the doom and gloom of an economic meltdown, we’re still looking forward to making that connection and hope to see the northern end of the park return to a natural wetland and supportive wildlife habitat. For now, we’ll keep our eye on the Killdeer.

JULY 2, 2009 · 3:43 PM

Babywatch ’09

The little peeps are up and around this afternnon.

Precocious Killdeer

JULY 2, 2009 · 12:52 PM

Dog(s) of the Week #8

We apologize for the resent drought of Dog of the week posts but that’s why we are making up for it with TWO dogs of the week. First meet Elvis, he is a Chihuahua mix rescue who has a distinctive prancing gate due to neurological damage from being on the street. When he was rescued by his current owner he would compulsively kick out his left leg, just like Elvis.

Elvis the dog

Elvis’s canine companion is Maude who is possibly a lab great dane mix as well as rescue. She, like Elvis, enjoys her walks around L.A. State Historic Park.

Maude the dog

JULY 1, 2009 · 2:55 PM

Tag Team

Turns out, there are two.


JULY 1, 2009 · 11:52 AM

Babywatch ’09 – New Arrivals!

Our mother Killdeer was a bit more frantic and purposeful today in her attempts at deception.

A Frantic Distraction

And we soon found out why. Her nest was not filled with eggs as we expected, but with tiny killdeer hatchlings. Summer is the season for baby Killdeer, and it turns out that, though they are shorebirds, nesting far from water is not uncommon. The baby birds are classified as precocial, meaning “ripened beforhand.” They differ from the helpless altricial hatchlings which require constant care and monitoring by the parent, entering the world helpless and noticably less than cute. These little guys, on the other hand should be up and around in no time! There’s a nice post here about “The Precious Killdeer.” Of the babies they say, “just seeing one will bring a smile to the grouchiest face in town.” Since spirits here have been pretty low recently, what with all the uncertainty surrounding State Parks future in light of the budget crisis, we surely welcome an antidote to the grouchiness.

Hard to Spot? Good!

Still hard to spot


JUNE 2, 2009 · 11:51 AM

Wildlife Drama! Hawk v. Snake

Red-tailed Hawk flying by Downtown

I was lucky to witness quite the urban wildlife drama unfolding in the northern field this morning. I happened to be driving along the metro edge of the park when I spotted a large Red-tailed hawk just standing in the field. I stopped to watch and soon noticed curious movement close to the ground. Snake! And not a small one – probably a good two, two and a half feet of slither that was attracting the hawk’s, and now my, attention. The hawk proceeded to slowly stalk after the snake, occasionally extending its wings as it slowly paced with the snake’s movements. After a few minutes, the hawk made its move, lunging to grab the snake. But the snake struck back and the hawk relented, flying up to perch just a few feet above on a short fence post. Of course, no camera on hand to capture the dramatic action scene. But my trusty co-worker rushed back in time to catch the hawk, still engaged in pretty serious hunting mode. Though the snake was nowhere to be found.

Red-Tailed Hawk ready for action.

Red-Tailed Hawk cleared for take off.

flying away.


APRIL 29, 2009 · 8:18 AM

Cheesed Off

Krafty Grilling


Lounging on the Lawn at LASHP

This past weekend, LASHP got down and cheesy welcoming the 1st 7th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational. The day was cool with a nice breeze and couldn’t have been better for all that hot grillin’ action and thousands of eager Angelenos who lined up throughout the day hoping to get in on the cheesy deliciousness. And as far as I could tell, the real competition involved actually getting a morsel of sandwich. Crowds jammed the competitor tables with us “judges” screaming and waving tasting tickets wildly. The Los Angeles skyline became the backdrop for the floor of the grilled cheese commodities exchange. Unless you had a inside contact, it was pretty difficult to tell what you were begging for or what you were going to get. When I finally ended up with a paper plate, ballot, and solid square inch of “sammich,” it was the Krafty Bastard that I sampled- entered in the missionary category of nothing but good old, grandma-sanctioned bread, cheese, and butter. Then came the Kama Sutra category and things got creative with the arrival of an open-faced noodley number, the Spaghetti Western – just a bit too much carb-on-carb action for my delicate sensibilities. Should have jumped on the sammich with tchotcke, that’s more my speed!


Good Clean Fun

APRIL 23, 2009 · 12:09 PM

Baldwin Hills in the L.A. Times

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Christopher Hawthorne, who writes for the Los Angeles Times, recently published an article discussing our brand new sister park, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Click here for the article.

MARCH 28, 2009 · 12:10 PM

The Elusive Cornflower

The Blue Cornflower

See if you can find the blue cornflower at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

MARCH 28, 2009 · 11:30 AM

Dog of the Week #6

Dulce the Dog

Meet Dulce the dog. He is part chihuahua part miniature pincher and 1 year old. As you can tell by the picture he is quite the spitfire but I am told that he is quite the cuddler as well. As usually he won’t go into Los Angeles State Historic Park without his leash on.

MARCH 27, 2009 · 1:36 PM

Director of CA State Parks visits LASHP

Lauren Bon and Director Ruth Coleman

Director Ruth Coleman visited Los Angeles State Historic Park today to see the beautiful wildflowers and to chat with Lauren Bon, the artist behind the Not a Cornfield project that took place here back in 2005. Looks like she is enjoying the change of scenery!

Looking up toward North Broadway

Purple Owl’s Clover

A Breezy Afternoon

MARCH 24, 2009 · 11:02 AM

America’s Best Idea

Screening at Paramount Ranch

Last Thursday, this California State Parks staffer joined a comrade from the National Park Service for a sneak preview of documentarian Ken Burns’ newest series set to air on PBS in September, “The National Parks – America’s Best Idea.” The evening was quite a treat beginning with a serendipitous brush with President Obama’s motorcade headed south on the 101 as we traveled north in the carpool lane through Burbank. An impressive show, for sure. But not to be outdone was the veritable NPS rangercade that escorted Burns through the crowd and into the screening at Paramount Ranch.

Photo by Karen Quincy Loberg, Ventura County Star

Part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Paramount Ranch is itself a National Park Unit and an ideal setting in the golden hour light to welcome visitors for park hikes, docent tours, and other activities prior to the screening.

NPS Display

KCET personality and friend of all California parks, Huell Howser, was on hand to moderate the evening’s events with the folksy enthusiasm we’ve all come to expect. But Huell also provided some insightful commentary. On Burns’ engaging view of history and unique storytelling he aptly stated that he “makes us feel better about who we are” as Americans. Burns, for his part was humble, thoughtful, and genuinely awed with regard to his latest subject emphasizing that preservation of land for public use and enjoyment is a uniquely American enterprise, calling it “democracy applied to the landscape.” In equal measure, he spoke appreciatively of those people, past and present, dedicated to preserving our most beautiful landscapes and endangered wildlife, making the National Park system what it is today. He spoke further of a commitment to life-long learning, service, and stewardship that is cultivated in tandem with a love of our National Parks and public landscapes reassuring the audience that “in difficult times, parks have thrived.”

Ghost Town at Paramount Ranch

From a State Parks perspective, it is notable that “America’s Best Idea” originated in California. In 1864 Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees was deeded to the State as a public trust in a land grant by President Lincoln “…to be held for public use, resort, and recreation…” a direct precursor to the modern California State Parks department and mission. Yosemite was the original California State Park and later incorporated as part of the National Park Service which was established in 1916.

California,with it its rich landscape, was also not surprisingly home to early environmental activism. In the 1880’s Ralph Sidney Smith, editor of the Redwood City Times and Gazette began writing about the need for preservation of California’s unique redwood forests. The Sempervirens Club, formed in 1900, carried on the crusade for preservation and their vocal advocacy led to the creation of the modern State Park system with the opening of the first modern park, “Big Basin” in Santa Cruz County in 1904.

Here at LASHP the legacy of that early activism is particularly resonant. In the same spirit of preservation, LASHP was rescued from pending industrial development by a coalition of thirty-five neighborhood, urban environmental, and social justice organizations. The Chinatown Yard Alliance pulled together in joint recognition of the site’s historical significance and its potential to fulfill a tremendous need for open space and possible reconnection to the Los Angeles river. Thanks to the vision and hard work of concerned Angelenos we have this lovely space and a neighborhood poised to transform around it as opposed to blocks of warehouses and more of the industrial same-old.

Photo by Joshua White

MARCH 19, 2009 · 8:39 AM

Tidy Tips

MARCH 18, 2009 · 8:35 PM

Dog of the Week #5

Cooper! Enjoying a special day in the park and, as always, proudly wearing his leash. Look at that smile. Coop loves the lupines.

FEBRUARY 17, 2009 · 4:21 PM

Deer of the Week

If you happen to be familiar with the Asilomar State Beach & Conference Grounds, in Pacific Grove, this photo should make perfect sense to you:

And since we missed our LASHP Dog of the Week, due to training at Asilomar, it makes at least reasonable sense to us. The population of black-tailed deer in and around the Asilomar Grounds is so robust, in fact, that these harmless looking fellows actually pose a threat to another natural resource in the area.

That’s right, up in Monterey the deer are so plentiful and have such hearty appetites, that the endangered Menzies’ Wallflower must be placed in cages to protect its blooms, allow the plants to mature, and develop seeds.

Menzies’ Wallflower at the Asilomar Dunes

While we don’t have this deer vs. wildflower conundrum in downtown Los Angeles, it just goes to show the tricky business of managing resources and fulfilling the State Parks Mission in all 279 California State Parks.

FEBRUARY 5, 2009 · 12:28 AM

Going Green

It may not look like much at the moment, but Millie’s, known as Sam’s Lunch during the rail years, will be up and running again soon. Reincarnated for the 21st century, Millie’s burger stand will become Urban Green at LASHP. Gone are the days of burgers, chips, and soda. Instead, locally grown collard greens, kale, scallions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers are but a sampling of ingredients that will make up Urban Green’s innovative and delicious vegetarian cuisine. So keep an eye on that little white building…

FEBRUARY 5, 2009 · 12:11 AM

Dog of the Week #1

Here is Baloo, Los Angeles State Historic Park’s first Dog of the Week. Any canine patron who is a good citizen and keeps his or her leash on is a likely candidate for dog of the week.

FEBRUARY 4, 2009 · 11:59 PM

Puppy Love

A terrific perk of being stationed at the LASHP modular, aside from a one-in-a-million view of the downtown skyline, is watching the daily parade of canines that loop past our front window. Particular favorites – two Weimaraner pups that take a morning jog with their person, and no less than six enthusiastic tail-waggers handled in an amazingly orderly and well mannered fashion by their walker. The other afternoon, during a quick stroll through the marigolds, we met a grinning wire-haired fox terrier whom we were assured relishes his daily visits.

We love to see so many happy dogs and their people enjoying the park. And while we’re certain that your dog is always considerate and well behaved, others have been known to get carried away when allowed too much freedom by their people. Recently, we were notified by a concerned park user that endangered migratory birds Vesper and Savannah Sparrows were disturbed by dogs running off-leash through the north end of the park. While LASHP is designated as an historic park, protection of natural resources, for the enjoyment of visitors and a preservation of a healthy environment, is a primary concern of California State Parks. That is why you’ll often see our Rangers giving friendly warnings, and ticketing if necessary, to enforce the leash policy at the park.

To ensure the vitality of park habitat, your safety, your pet’s safety and that of fellow park patrons, please remember to keep your dogs on leash – and when passing the LASHP office be sure to wave hello to our Rangers and park staff!


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