The Grilled Cheese Invitational was great fun and all, but now back to basics. In line with the Sate Parks Mission of protecting natural resources, of late LASHP has been fixated on birds – starting with the Cliff Swallows and our personal little San Juan Capistrano under the Broadway Bridge. Also, thanks to L.A. Creek Freak, this week we received a nifty guide to Animals of the Los Angeles River which includes a user friendly bird guide. Between that, and a recent field trip to the Audubon Center at Debs Park we are longing for some binos and a foray into serious birding. While we work on that, enjoy a couple of photos and LASHP’s novice attempt at bird ID. Birders out there? – Please let us know if we got it wrong, or right!
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!
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.
That’s right people, The 1st 7th annual Grilled Cheese Invitational is coming to Los Angeles State Historic Park this weekend.
There will be four separate categories of grilled cheese so there is sure to be one to satisfy any cheesehead. It will be happening this Saturday, April 25th from noon to 6:00pm; admission is $5.
For more information click here
Congratulations to Superintendent Sean Woods and the Los Angeles Sector Rangers and Interpretive Team on winning the Olmsted Award for Leadership and Vision! Between the Olmsted Award and the opening of Baldwin, it’s been quite week for team Los Angeles. Our urban parks don’t quite fit the mold of most traditional State Parks, and for that we say, go L.A.! That’s what the Los Angeles Sector is all about – Reaching out to areas that need State Parks the most and sharing the State Parks Mission. Well Done.
This Saturday CSP Los Angeles Sector was pleased to celebrate the grand opening of our newest park, the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (BHSO.) Beginning the day with a musical welcome from the Dorsey High School Choir we shared the accomplishment and beautiful day with community members, elected officials, and partners, Los Angeles Audubon and the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, who helped make the park vision a reality. Ron Schafer, Angeles District Superintendent and Master of Ceremonies, emphasized that the preservation of these 50 acres in urban Los Angeles, supported by community advocates such as the Friends of Baldwin Hills is no less an accomplishment than the preservation and opening of the first modern State Park, Big Basin Redwoods, by the Sempervirens Club in 1904.
In fact, the opening of BHSO marks the culmination of California State Parks Urban Parks Initiative in Los Angeles, following the opening of Los Angeles State Historic Park in 2006, and Rio de Los Angeles State Park in 2007. Through the acquisition of land and development of these new parks, CSP has established a solid presence in the city’s most densley populated areas and demonstrated its commitment to preserving available open space in park-poor urban neighborhoods. Director Ruth Coleman was on hand to thank park supporters, young volunteers, and staff as well as accept commendations from the County of Los Angeles and Culver City.
We had a great turnout of local residents, many commenting that they lived within walking distance and had come to the event on foot. Much to our delight, parking was not an issue. Visitors enjoyed views from the overlook, exhibits in the new visitor center, nature walks, and bird watching. Music provided by the Culver City High School Jazz Combo and healthy food served up by Urban Green Cuisine rounded out what proved to be a pleasant and relaxing celebration.
The day’s true success, however, must be credited to the scores of hard working students who volunteered their Saturday to assist with native plant restoration, help rangers manage parking, and provide entertainment for the crowd. The Crenshaw High Eco-Club was out in force as was LA Audubon’s contingent of young volunteers. Also present a volunteer group coordinated by local mothers from Jack and Jill, an African-American service organization with a 70 plus year history.
The legacy of the Urban Park’s Initiative will be dependent upon the continued nurturing of a conservation ethic among young park visitors and volunteers. And ultimately, this enthusiastic service and demonstration of stewardship must be counted as State Parks’ greatest success. Moving forward, the provision of high quality environmental education and interpretive programs will be a major focus of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. It turns out that opening a park is the easy part – as Sector Superintendent Sean Woods, says, “Now the work begins.” Fortunately, it is the work to which we at California State Parks all look forward.
Over the past few weeks, LASHP has been all about BHSO – Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook – the newest California State Park set to open in Los Angeles this weekend, April 18. The Los Angeles Sector has been quite busy, along with District headquarters, and partners Los Angeles Audubon and Baldwin Hills Conservancy, planning this weekend’s grand opening event and activities. If you would like to check out the spectacular new visitor center and even more spectacular views of the city, the park is located at 6300 Hetzler Road in Culver City. Saturday’s event will include dignitaries, musical entertainment, guided nature tours, bird watching, native plant restoration, eco crafts, and healthy food and refreshments for the whole family from 12:00 – 4:00pm.
Even though the LASHP staff has already spent a fair amount of time at BHSO during the planning and construction phases, there have still been moments amid the furious coordination activity when we were suddenly taken with the peacefulness and truly amazing views of the landscape. “We wanted to provide a tranquil respite from big city life,” said State Parks Director Ruth Coleman. “Now people living in this highly congested area can get out and experience nature close to home.” Visit the overlook and I think you’ll agree that it truly is a respite and quite a special place that Angelenos will enjoy for years to come.
“It is a scientific fact that the occasional contemplation of natural scenes of an impressive character, particularly if this contemplation occurs in connection with relief from ordinary cares, change of air and habits, is favorable to the health and vigor of men and especially to the health and vigor of their intellect beyond any other conditions which can be offered them, but it not only gives pleasure for the time being but increases the subsequent capacity for happiness and the means of securing that happiness.”
Meet Rufus. He is a six month old German Short Hair who is a ball of energy…and he can’t can’t get enough of wearing his leash.
See if you can find the blue cornflower at Los Angeles State Historic Park.