This spring, Griffith Park got a little bigger, thanks to a coalition of partners who worked quickly and effectively together to respond to a rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Two undeveloped lots on a hillside just outside of the Bronson Canyon entrance on Canyon Drive went up for sale. These lots came on the market a year ago with a combined asking price of $1.15 million, but the price was reduced greatly to an amount of $500,000, with an agreement to a shortened, 21-day escrow.
Friends of Griffith Park banded together with a coalition of conservationists and park-lovers to help raise pledges to purchase the site and protect it from future development. The 1¼ acre site features city-protected sycamores and coast live oak trees – the largest being 60’ tall – and the site is a habitat for deer, coyotes,
birds and other wildlife.
Partners in this endeavor include LA City Councilmember David Ryu and The Oaks Homeowners Association along with numerous individuals who believed in the value of expanding Griffith Park’s landscape.
After a whirlwind fundraising campaign, a deal was struck. The land is now held by a local public agency, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) that’s dedicated to conserving and protecting open space, wildlife habitat and parkland that will be easily accessible to the public and ensuring that it will never be developed.
FoGP established the Canyon Drive Fund which, after collecting sufficient funds for the purchase of the property, also accepted funds that will be used for annual maintenance of the property.
The quick-moving episode is a good reminder that many people and organizations see the necessity of keeping Griffith Park as a wilderness refuge that needs to be protected and preserved. A big thank you again to all who contributed!
~Brenda Rees, FoGP Board member