Save LA River Open Space effort to bring new park to Studio City

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bonniegoodman110BY BONNIE GOODMAN

Members of the community of all ages gathered this past Saturday at the invitation of the non-profit organization, Save LA River Open Space, to learn the status of efforts to preserve the Weddington Golf & Tennis property as open space.  Invited to “bring a new park to life in Studio City,” guests were introduced to the Save LA River Open Space concept/vision of a new park at the site, called Los Angeles River Natural Park, designed as a no-development alternative to the current owner’s proposed construction of 200 condominiums and 635 parking spaces (see model at end of this article).

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A child's hopeful rendering of the LA River.

As part of the event, Save LA River Open Space co-director Kathy Hassett presented attendees with a review of the goals of the Los Angeles River Natural Park.  According to Hassett, Save LA River Open Space recognized the regional importance of the site and its potential contribution not just to the local community but to the greater San Fernando Valley. “Not only does this 16 acres represent the last remaining unprotected LA Riverfront open space,” she explained, “it has the potential to make a major contribution to our region, including improved water quality by halting pollutants from entering the LA River and creating a means for natural water treatment, better access to the Los Angeles River Greenway, the restoration of native habitats and the preservation of recreational uses.” This concept is currently undergoing a feasibility study, which is examining all proposed elements of the plan, including costs for purchase of the land and ongoing maintenance.  More details about the Los Angeles River Park can be found by visiting www.savelariveropenspace.org/

Children attending were treated to information about native habitats presented by Sharon Ford of the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society and also had the opportunity to draw and color their ideas for the park, as part of a schematic of the space and on a wall mural.  Music was graciously provided by bluegrass and American folk music band, “Sometimes in Tune.”

“We continue to press forward with the community and our elected officials to meet the community’s needs, which are to preserve this area as open space,” Hassett added.  “While it will likely take bond measures and the potential of transportation related funds to help our concept/vision come alive, we encourage members of the community to support our efforts in any way they can, from financial contributions, which are tax deductible, to volunteering for one of our committees.”

Save LA River Open Space’s activities are being supported by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Studio City Residents Association, the US Tennis Association, the Studio City Neighborhood Council and private donations.”  Contributions support efforts to further investigate and refine the Los Angeles River Natural Park concept/vision as well as the organization’s work to educate the community and other prospective supporters about its goals.

Bonnie Goodman is owner of Goodman Communications Group, a branding and marketing consultancy. She also serves as executive vice president on the board of the Studio City Residents Association, vice president on the board of Temple Beth Hillel and president of the Magnet Parents Association for Cleveland High School. Formerly general manager of Hill & Knowlton Los Angeles, Irvine and Sacramento, she provides a range of communications services to corporate and non-profit clients such as advertising, public relations, social media, corporate identity and other related services. Reach Bonnie at bgoodmancomm@roadrunner.com

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Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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