There are several newly proposed and continuing projects spread throughout the park of
interest to all Griffith Park users that are intended to enhance or fulfill unmet needs. Our overall position on development in the park is that it is a fragile natural environment and all changes should be guided by best practices and principles as described in the
almost complete Working Group Master Plan, of which our organization has been a
In 1956, historic youth-sized baseball diamonds were removed when the 5 Freeway pierced the eastern edge of the park. Never replaced, they symbolize unmet needs by youth sports organizations. A location adjacent to the Class A Pote Field in Crystal Springs has been identified for two junior sized diamonds. Scores of trees and some picnic tables would have to be relocated or replaced elsewhere. Proposition K funds are available as seed monies for the diamonds. There is some controversy, not on the need for ball
fields, but about the location. Many are advocating for other areas of the park, where there will be less displacement of trees and other user groups.
The restored natural landscape adjacent to the Old Zoo area with its natural bowl, lawn and picnic tables has been the site for numerous free concerts by the Symphony in the Glen and free Shakespeare plays in recent years, entertaining thousands of park users who sit on the lawn with their picnic baskets and blankets. Funding is currently available for constructing a permanent performance platform that will make for more cost effective free concerts and plays. This site has overhead power supply lines that will need to be buried and it is an historic flood plain, both conditions that weigh on its potential for the stage.
The Toyon Canyon landfill restoration is now 65% complete. When finished, hikers
can take foot paths to an open meadow for passive recreation.
A new passenger loading building is under construction at Live Steamers, thanks to a private gift. The opening is tentatively scheduled for late May.
The Bette Davis picnic area on the northern boundary of the park is receiving DWP funded irrigation upgrades that will include some turf removal to decrease water consumption.
A traffic bottleneck at North Zoo Drive and Western Heritage Way off the 5 Freeway ramps will be eased by shaving the current traffic island, allowing for an additional lane at the stop sign.
The closure of the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs will be compensated by the construction of the new Headworks reservoir on Forest Lawn Drive across from the Mount Sinai Memorial Park. Construction in four phases has begun, and when finished, the site will be landscaped and open to the public as parkland.
A long desired equestrian bridge connecting stables in Atwater just east of the Los Angeles River with the Crystal Springs area is currently undergoing an environmental review. Financed by a private $4 million gift, the 320-feet-tall cable suspension bridge will feature separate paths for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians. Its modern design is not “park
style”; however, most user groups seem to be satisfied and it is a project long overdue.
A chronic street water seepage problem on Fern Dell Drive is being solved by diverting the underground spring into Fern Dell Creek. Fern Dell rehabilitation is underway and being sponsored by Friends of Griffith Park, a non-profit group.
A new switchback trail from the Greek Theatre parking lot to the Griffith Observatory is being considered to relieve the drastic parking shortage for visitors to the Observatory.
CD 4 and the Department of Recreation and Parks are anxious to move forward on these
projects and ask for the support of the Los Feliz neighborhood. The LFIA will closely monitor these initiatives as plans develop. Our current official policy is that these projects be compatible with an adopted Master Plan for Griffith Park, which is stalled in Recreation and Parks.
[Editor’s note: CD 4 Councilmember Tom LaBonge and Recreation and Parks Supervisor Mike Shull committed to a one-year completion timeline for the Master Plan at the February LFIA Forum.]