Issued April 17, 2006


WHAT:                         Opening ceremony of Native Plant & Wildlife Garden


WHERE:          Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area

Baldwin Hills 

4100 S. La Cienega Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90056


WHEN:                        Saturday, May 6, 11 am

                        (Barbeque celebration following at 12 pm)


WHO:               Volunteers and interns from the communities nearby Baldwin Hills

Supervisor Yvonne Braithwaite-Burke (invited)

                        California Senator Kevin Murray (invited)

                        Assemblymember Karen Bass (invited)

                        Assemblymember Jerome Horton (invited)

                        Assemblymember Mark Ridlely Thomas (invited)

                        Councilmember Benard Parks (invited)

                        Councilmember Herb Wesson (invited)

                        Culver City Mayor Albert Vera (invited)

                        Los Angeles Audubon Society Board, staff, and members

                        California Native Plant Society Board and members

                        Friends of Baldwin Hills Board and members

                        Baldwin Hills Conservancy Board, members and staff

                        California State Parks officials

                        Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation officials


WHY:               Volunteers, park visitors, environmental non-profits, community groups and elected officials will come together on May 6 at 11 am to cut the ribbon on a three year Native Plant & Wildlife Garden covering three acres in Kenneth Hahn Recreation area in the Baldwin Hills Parklands. The project is a three year grant to re-vegetate the three acres to attract wildlife such as birds and butterflies for park visitors to enjoy and study, and to educate park visitors on the positive environmental benefits to air, water and wildlife through native plant landscaping.

                        The project evolved over ten volunteer events in two years utilizing over 100 volunteers from the Asian, Latino, Black and White communities surrounding the Baldwin Hills. In order to prepare the project site, invasive weeds and plants such as castor bean, fox tail grass, gazania, and other species that provide little food or shelter to native wildlife had to be removed. Some eucalyptus trees were removed. Between volunteer events, interns from community programs tended the garden and conducted wildlife surveys.  The site was planted with California native plants and seeds of species that form the coastal sage scrub and chaparral communities that historically vegetated the Baldwin Hills prior to the arrival of European immigrants. The use of California native plants in parks and at home contribute to clean air by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, and to clean water by reducing irrigation and eliminating the need for fertilizers and pesticides that pollute nearby watersheds such as Ballona Creek and Santa Monica Bay.

            Funding for the project has been provided in part through a grant from the Baldwin Hills Conservancy (BHC) pursuant to the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhoods, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002 (Proposition 40). Additional funding was provided by Los Angeles Audubon Society and Los Angeles and Santa Monica Mtns chapter of California Native Plant Society. Margot Griswold of Earthworks Restoration is Project Director, and Garry George, Executive Director, Los Angeles Audubon Society, is Project Manager. Friends of Baldwin Hills administered the project.

            Baldwin Hills Conservancy, led by Executive Director David McNeill, has directed the acquisition of  over 150 acres of open space and funded over 60 acres of park land improvements for recreation, restoration and protection of wildlife habitat in the Baldwin Hills.  The park is owned by California State Parks, which will begin construction of a visitors center and other amenities in the western section of the park in the next year. The eastern Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area is managed by Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation. The Master Plan for Baldwin Hills Park is available online at


Contact: Garry George, Project Manager, Native Plant & Wildlife Garden

            323-933-6660 ph, 323-607-1126 cell on day of event