By CYNTHIA DE LA TORRE, Editor, USC MPL
After a decade of compiling data on recreational services, user groups, Griffith Park’s endemic species and ecosystems, and inventories on human and non-human elements of the Park, the Department of Recreation and Parks has released a plan that visualizes the 4,355 acres of Griffith Park as an Urban Wilderness.
The “Urban Wilderness shall refer to the dedication to preserving…the unique character of Griffith Park with particular focus on biodiversity, native species, minimal maintenance required for viability unstructured aesthetic, [and] a built environment that reflects these characteristics and promotes the sense of place that is characteristic of Griffith Park,” the vision plan states.
In true Olmstedian fashion of recognizing the need for conserving green space for city dwellers, the Urban Wilderness identity aims to preserve the legacy that Colonel Griffith J. Griffith left Angelenos with—a sanctuary that in his words would be an ‘open space—rustic and available to all.’
As such, the vision plan describes Griffith Park as “an oasis in our urban environment” and makes recommendations such as continuing “Griffith Park’s longstanding role and function as a place of free enjoyment…with fee-based activities…and such charges held to the minimum necessary for continued operation.”
Specifically, the vision plan strives to accomplish notable objectives like:
Implement a watershed management system that maximizes natural drainage systems, retention of storm water, filtering and discharging the water table, and connections to the Los Angeles River,
Increase and facilitate wildlife corridors: (1) between habitats within the Park; (2) to natural areas contiguous to the Park, especially the Los Angeles River and land areas to the west, allowing better ecological connectivity of the entire Santa Monica Mountain Range,
Make the Park universally accessible while protecting the natural environment, and
Continue to promote the existing diversity of recreation and enjoyment by individuals and groups, and improve management of all special events to minimize impacts to the Park.
Although the vision plan is not the master plan, it enumerates the guiding principles that can be used for Griffith Park until a master plan is produced. It provides a clear view on what factors will be considered in the future planning of the Park.
For more on the vision plan, see the attached PDF of the Griffith Park Vision Plan.