A small crowd of Mount Washington residents huddled close together as the vote was cast. Unanimously, the board of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy voted to allocate funds for the acquisition of Heidelberg Park. Nestled between Avenue 50 to the north and San Rafael Avenue to the South, the 19 acre area provides habitat for Southern California native plant and animals. The dominant plant in this community is the dense, closed canopy California black walnut woodland. A keystone species, the deciduous walnut provides food and shelter for numerous insects, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds. The web of life radiates from this tree. Black walnuts are endemic to Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and are highly threatened by the eco-terrorism know as urban development. Heidelberg Park augments the linkages between the Arroyo Seco, Ernest Debs Regional Park, Elryia Canyon Park and Rainbow Canyon Park.
A park poor area, North East Los Angeles will benefit from this new acquisition. Four elementary schools are within walking distance to the new park. Field trips, studying and learning about the local biotic communities, can be made without the red tape of getting a bus. Plus, what better a place to learn about life then in your own back yard. Trees will also provide the needed conversion of carbon dioxide into oxygen, minimize runoff into the channelized Arroyo. Best of all, Heidelberg will allow for much need silent time in nature.
A remnant of what the Los Angeles basin once looked, smelt and felt like, this parcel will be preserved for future generations of native LA critters to enjoy and seek sustenance from.
Congratulations to the people of Mount Washington and Highland Park. All land is sacred.