National Park Service Interpretive Specialist Hale Sargent presented a workshop entitled Interpreting the Anza Trail in Griffith Park sponsored by Friends of Griffith Park. By relating the experience of the Anza expedition to our own experiences, he drew us into the lives of expedition members. Training participants included five Park Rangers, six FoGP board members, and three neighbors. During introductions, we discovered that many attendees and their families, including a part-Native American, had originally come to California seeking a better life just as members of the Anza expedition had done in 1776.
Participants explored the Anza expedition from various points of view including the lives and hardships encountered by soldiers, priests, Native Americans and the women who brought their families along the potentially dangerous route that began in Mexico and journeyed north to establish San Francisco and claim California for Spain.
Ranger Sargent noted that José Vicente Feliz was unique among the expedition members in that he rose to prominence when he was assigned as Comisionado of El Pueblo de Los Angeles and granted Rancho Los Feliz. It was the second generation of expedition members who had travelled to San Francisco that eventually became the movers and shakers of that city.
In keeping with the theme of the original Anza expedition members from Mexico, participants enjoyed a delicious lunch from Yuca’s on Hollywood.
The training event kicked off the NPS Centennial campaign Find Your Park — a celebration of all parks — city, county, state and national. Share your own park story at www.findyourpark.com.