4235 Monterey Road
Los Angeles, CA 90032


Please note: This section was written before the Audubon Center was built. We include it to consider the original vision in view of what has developed.

This area on the northwestern boundary of the park is integrated with the Urban Wilderness, although it has received considerable past disturbance. Much of Area 4 is the site of former soap-box-derby tracks, and much exotic vegetation occurs in association with this past activity. The upland terrace is the site of a severe infestation of castor bean and milk-thistle, although some of this area was recently burned. The drainage itself includes a rather substantial patch of an undetermined species of bamboo. There are a number of coast live oak trees in Area 4, and some of the only individuals of laurel-leaf sumac are also found here.

Audubon's overall vision is to develop an innovative public/private partnership to:

  • Help preserve this unique neighborhood resource;
  • Enhance the natural habitat; and
  • Provide exciting outdoor education and adventure opportunities.

    Upon completion of the planning process and adoption of the Framework Plan by the Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners, Audubon will lease an area to develop the Los Angeles Nature Center and related facilities (Figure 7). Audubon's goal is to provide a safe and welcoming place where local children and their families can experience the outdoors together. Outdoor science programs, ecology workshops for educators, after school nature hikes, and weekend family bird walks represent a cross-section of activities that will be offered to the community. In addition, there will be opportunities for habitat restoration, enhancement, and monitoring of wildlife, job training, and mentoring of young people. With a small staff and active volunteer corps, Audubon will work in partnership with the City, neighborhood groups, public and private schools, community centers, and youth and senior citizen organizations. The Los Angeles Nature Center will be a place with classrooms, exhibits, office and retail space, and landscaped grounds for nature education and play. Here, school children, teachers, families, and the community will learn about nature and the park. The proposed building is 7,500 square feet, (with a maximum allowable size of 10,000 square feet), and would be accessible to all park visitors. The Los Angeles Nature Center will be a permanent presence in the park, signaling a commitment to help make the park a safer, more hospitable place. It will also be a "compatible-use" facility integral to the protection of the Urban Wilderness Area. Area 4 Land Use Recommendations:

  • Authorize the construction and operation of the Los Angeles Nature Center, including classrooms, office space, exhibits, demonstration gardens, outdoor education areas, amphitheater, nature interpretive trails, driveway, and parking. Set a standard size for the site buildings up to a maximum of 10,000 square feet. Allow lands under 30 percent slope to be used for demonstration gardens, outdoor classrooms, amphitheater, and other similar activities.
  • Implement the Habitat Management Plan to enhance and preserve surrounding habitat.
  • Manage the Los Angeles Nature Center under specifications of a long-term lease agreement with the City. Clearly define activities that are not allowed in the Audubon lease area and adjacent interpretive natural habitats, including, but not limited to the following:
    § No organized or unorganized sporting events or activities.
    § No public picnicking.
    § No bikes of any kind (motorized or non-motorized).
    § No dogs allowed.
    § No festivals, except as requested by Audubon.
    § No day use/special event permits, except as requested by Audubon

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