Archives For San Fernando Valley

The Stough Canyon Nature Center has an exhibit hall with educational and interpretive displays about the natural history of the area and its plant life. It features a small library, a classroom, and an outdoor amphitheater.

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The Center provides information on local habitat and the natural history of the area and offers nature workshops, classes, and seasonal day camps. Local docents provide ongoing hiking activities in the park.

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Beginning at the top of Walnut Avenue, near the Nature Center, the fire road leads to the Verdugo Mountainway Trail. The Verdugo Mountainway is an extensive trail system which extends from the Sun Valley area south to Glendale’s Brand Park and to the northeast leading to Tujunga and La Crescenta.

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Hiking and mountain biking are permitted on the fire roads. The smaller trails are for hiking only and along with the fire roads lead to spectacular views of the San Fernando valley.

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A mile from the start, you will reach the ruins of an abandoned camp. A tall brick chimney is the first thing you will notice, rising from the concrete footprint of an old building; perhaps a lovely lodge at one time.

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The old camp is located in a plateaued saddle in the mountains covered in buckwheat and other low brush and grasses. Standing at the camp, the cityscape disappears behind you and you will get a lovely view north through a gap in the mountains followed by the San Gabriel Mountains further to the north.

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Venture outdoors this summer and visit the Stough Canyon Nature Center with friends and family for a beautiful day of hiking and sightseeing.

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WHAT: Stough Canyon Nature Center
WHEN:
See details below 
WHERE: 
2300 Walnut Avenue | Burbank, CA 91501

DETAILS:

  • Hours Open to the Public: (September – June) Tuesday – Friday, Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays, most holidays. (July and August) Monday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
  • Parking lot will be closed and gate locked at 5:00 p.m. unless there is a City of Burbank activity.

CONTACT INFO: (818) 238-5440

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Twitter | YouTubeYelp

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The Los Angeles river is a largely unknown and formidable yet resolute backdrop to the city of angeles. The river is to a great extent responsible for the existence and growth of the city and has played a large role in its evolution and economy. Countless movies and tv shows have been shot in its many tributaries and wildlife abound. L.A. River Expeditions and Paddle The L.A. River offer a unique and fun way to explore the river from end to end. Get outside and into the river for a unique adventure as you paddle down the river passing through natural and man-made landscapes.

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The L.A. River Expeditions mission was to protect the Los Angeles River via the Clean Water Act by proving its navigability. They defended valuable watershed conservation laws by paddling the 51 miles of the river in canoes and kayaks, from the Sepulveda Basin in the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach, on July 25th – 27th, 2008. Two years later, in July 2010, their actions proved integral to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision that the entire L.A. River is a “traditional navigable waterway,” giving it all the federal protections of a real river.

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Since summer 2008, their mission added a second focus: creating guided, safe, recreational-educational canoe and kayak excursions down the more pleasant, soft-bottomed stretches of the LA River. This eventually led to the creation of the Paddle the L.A. River pilot program in 2011, in which they were a key planner, and partner along with a coalition of other groups, including: Los Angeles Conservation Corps, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the City of Los Angeles, the Army Corps of Engineers, The River Project, Urban Semillas, and Friends of the LA River. This officially sanctioned 7-week pilot boating program, completed in September 2011, was a first in the history of the Los Angeles River!

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In 2012, they successfully completed their first season as an official tour operator for the 10-week season. L.A. River Expeditions ran a sanctioned program that provided an entertaining and indelible learning experience through boating while transforming perceptions about the Los Angeles River, and creating new possibilities for responsible use.

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With each journey downriver, they continue to educate participants of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities about the history of the river, building environmental stewardship and community leadership, and teaching river safety and paddlesport skills. They are sensitive to nature, in terms of keeping a light footprint and cleaning up garbage wherever they go.

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L.A. River Expeditions mission is to advocate for Clean Water Act protections and a comprehensive public river access policy for the LA River; to create a viable green business that runs organized recreational/educational canoe and kayak expeditions on the LA River while teaching boating skills, river safety, and fostering river stewardship; to assist in the development of other innovative, river-specific programs and events that will enhance the LA River’s social ecosystem; to advocate for the protection of America’s waterways, especially urban waterways; and to be a connector between the LA River and other rivers worldwide, in order to protect the world’s international river ecosystem.

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The Paddle the L.A. River program represents the collective efforts of several environmental organizations uniting to enhance public perception about the Los Angeles River. By paddling this scenic stretch, people experience first-hand that our urban River is part of an ecosystem that is both beautiful and significant to Los Angeles’ past and future.

WHAT: Los Angeles River Expeditions 
WHEN:
Summer months
WHERE:
San Fernando Valley to Long Beach

CONTACT INFO: L.A. River Expeditions and Paddle The L.A. River

SOCIAL MEDIA: L.A. River Expeditions Facebook Paddle L.A. River Facebook | L.A. River Expeditions Twitter Paddle LA River Twitter  | Yelp

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The Japanese Garden

May 22, 2013 — 1 Comment

Nestled in the heart of the San Fernando Valley is a peaceful oasis where the balance of positive and negative forces, Yin & Yang, are ever present. The Japanese Garden showcases the skillful blending of traditional Japanese landscaping with modern Occidental architecture. The Japanese concept of “WA” or harmony is used to unite the desires of the human spirit with our more mundane requirements—the exquisite beauty of a Japanese garden with the need for an abundant supply of fresh water.

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Visit the garden to walk, to sit, and to contemplate your surroundings. To do so is to experience absolute tranquility, it is to enrich one’s spirit, to achieve a state of grace so elusive in our busy modern world. It is to emulate Lord Buddha who, three thousand years ago, seated in the shade of a tree in silent contemplation of the human condition, achieved spiritual enlightenment.

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Suiho En the garden of water and fragrance is a 6½ acre authentic Japanese garden fashioned after “stroll gardens” constructed during the 18th and 19th centuries for Japanese Feudal lords. The facility is unique in that it incorporates three classical designs: a dry karensansui, a wet garden with promenade chisen, and an authentic tea ceremony garden incorporating a 4.5 tatami mat tea room. The garden also features a waterfall.

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The garden is a cultural show place of Los Angeles. It was created by world-renowned garden designer Dr. Koichi Kawana. In designing, Dr. Kawana balanced the positive and negative forces with skillful blending of traditional Japanese garden design and modern Western architecture.

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The Gift Shop at The Japanese Garden features a wide array of well-priced items from Japan and other countries in Asia and the Pacific. Ceramics, books, dolls, jewelry, Buddha Boards, origami paper, parasols, handmade greeting cards, to name just a few… you’re sure to find the perfect gift for yourself, family or friends.

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WHAT: The Japanese Garden 
WHEN:
The Garden is available for self-guided tours Monday – Thursday from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM, and Sunday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. The Garden is closed to the public on Friday and Saturday. They also offer docent-led walking tours, by advance reservation only, on Monday – Thursday mornings. Each tour lasts approximately 1-¼ hours and includes an overview of the water reclamation process.
WHERE: 
6100 Woodley Avenue | Van Nuys, California, 91406

DETAILS: Admission to the Garden for docent-led or self-guided tours is $3.00 per person, $2.00 for Seniors 62 and over, and for children under 10 years old.

CONTACT INFO: (818) 756-8166 or betty.ethridge@lacity.org

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Yelp

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest pages.

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The Los Angeles River, also known as the L.A. River, is a river that starts in the San Fernando Valley, in the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains, and flows through Los Angeles County from Canoga Park in the western end of the San Fernando Valley, nearly 48 miles southeast to its mouth in Long Beach.

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Several tributaries join the once free-flowing and frequently flooding river, forming alluvial flood plains along its banks. It now flows through a concrete channel on a fixed course.

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Kayaking down the L.A. River

The Los Angeles River bicycle path, or the L.A. River bike path, runs through the Glendale Narrows and is accessible to the public at its north end at Riverside Drive, at Los Feliz Boulevard, and at its south end at Glendale Boulevard. The bike path runs parallel to the 5 freeway for the majority of its length and has mile markers and call boxes for information and safety purposes.

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“As soon as I heard that it was possible to ride the entire length of the Los Angeles River on a bike, it had to be done!” remarked my friend and fellow explorer, Andy Stout, who captured his personal journey via Stout About; a site dedicated to documenting his travels, experiences, education, and friends he has met along the way.

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“I took Amtrak from San Diego to Los Angeles and then the Los Angeles Metro Red Line to Studio City where I linked up with my friend Josh. Over a few cocktails we discussed our plan of attack for the following day. There are basically two sections of the Los Angeles River Bike Path, and in between them is Downtown Los Angeles.”

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Andy recommends “starting early in the day to make sure you have enough time to make it to Long Beach before the sun goes down. Many sections of the ride take you through some pretty ‘rough’ neighborhoods. One of these ‘rough’ neighborhoods is Compton.”

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Environmental groups and park advocates, such as Los Angeles River Revitalization, support the removal of concrete and the restoration of natural vegetation and wildlife. There are also plans for a series of parks along the river’s city frontage.

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The Los Angeles River also flows through several Los Angeles County communities and has been featured in many Hollywood films.

The Terminator 2:

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Grease:

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Sepulveda Basin is a flood-control basin to manage flood water runoff. Except for infrequent but dramatic flood episodes, this dry-land flood control basin, most of which is leased from the Corps by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, plays host to diverse uses today including athletic fields, agriculture, golf courses, a fishing lake, parklands, a sewage treatment facility, and a wildlife reserve.

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Following the Los Angeles Flood of 1938, concrete banks were created as a flood control measure for nearly all the length of the river, making it essentially navigable by bicycle to its end, where it empties into the San Pedro Bay in Long Beach. In recent years, the Friends of the Los Angeles River, a local civic and environmental group, have attempted to restore portions of the river as parkland in a manner that includes and encourages bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

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WHAT: The Los Angeles River Bicycle Path
WHEN:
Daily sun up to sun down
WHERE:
Los Angeles

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Yelp

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest pages.

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Ringed by mountains, rivers, and streams, the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve is haven of rest for wildlife and humans alike, a welcome oasis within an urban setting. It is here where the visitor of today can get a sense of what this part of the San Fernando Valley might have been like before agriculture and urban settlement forever changed the Valley floor.

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The leaves of willows, cottonwoods, and sycamores glisten in the breeze. The calls of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds such as ducks, Canada geese, herons, and egrets penetrating the stillness as they take flight after resting and foraging at the wildlife lake.

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The musty scent of sages and mugwort heavy in the air after a winter’s rain; and activity of small birds such as the goldfinch, woodpecker, and oriole as they search for food and shelter amongst the oak savannah.

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Walks: To view and study more than 200 different species of birds seen in the wildlife reserve are conducted by the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society. There’s a Bird Walk on the first Sunday of every month from 8 am – 11:30 am, year-round. For families and beginners, there’s a Bird Walk on the second Saturday of winter months between October and March starting at 8:30 am and ending around 11:00 am.

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Group Hikes & Clean-Ups: Sponsored by environmental organizations including the California Native Plant Society, SFV Audubon, The River Project, and Sierra Club.

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Education: The wildlife reserve serves as an outdoor classroom for field trips for local schools, sponsored by SFV Audubon.

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Involvement: Track the migrating Canada Geese and promote habitat conservation originates through the Canada Goose Project. You can participate in the Goose Count from October through March on the following schedule: Saturday 3 – 6 pm, Sunday 5:30 am – 8 am, Tuesday 3 pm – 6 pm, Wednesday 5:30 am – 8 am.

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The Los Angeles River drains the vast watershed of the San Fernando Valley and surrounding mountains – finally emptying into the Pacific Ocean at Long Beach. In years of heavy rainfall, this normally tame watercourse becomes a mighty force – as was the case in 1938 when torrential rains caused the river to flood adjacent farms and homes. Consequently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers channelized the river and built the Sepulveda Dam to capture and hold floodwaters for later gradual release down the river.

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Except for infrequent but dramatic flood episodes, this otherwise dry-land flood control basin, most of which is leased from the Corps by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks, plays host to diverse uses today including athletic fields, agriculture, golf courses, a fishing lake, parklands, a sewage treatment facility, and a growing wildlife reserve.

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Forward-thinking citizens and government planners hatched the idea for a designated wildlife reserve in the 60s and 70s when much of the basin was open land or in agriculture and becoming surrounded by suburban growth. With so much land being developed for urban and recreational uses, some saw it critical to reserve lands in the lowest flood-prone basin areas and “re-create” a natural habitat for birds and small animals with native vegetation where people would be welcome as visitors.

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Map of the vicinity.

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WHAT: Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve
WHEN: Open sunrise to sunset 
WHERE: 
6350 Woodley Avenue | Van Nuys, CA 91406 

DETAILS: 

  • The park is 225 acres 
  • Free parking lot

CONTACT INFO: (818) 756-9710

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Yelp

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages.

Thank you for visiting the social calendar.

Mr. Events.