Save the Sycamore Tree Event, Saturday September 13

Please join Friends of Griffith Park at the heritage Sycamore Tree in the Crystal Springs picnic area Saturday September 13th at 10:00 to 11am. We will pay respect to this tree, which may be as old as 200 years. We want to save the tree, which the City may remove to build ball fields.

Friends of Griffith Park will provide water and soft drinks. Please bring your enthusiasm. Help us spread the word. The more the merrier. All kids welcome!

"God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~ John Muir

Griffith Park Historic-Cultural Monument no. 942

Directions: From Los Feliz Blvd and Riverside, turn north and go about one mile. Turn right at the Ranger Station and Visitor Center, and drive past the large ball field that is fenced-off and rarely used. Park close to the picnic grounds or where ever you can.

Save Crystal Springs Picnic Area

UPDATE: The City is has continued with the proposed plan to construct two new youth baseball fields within the existing Crystal Springs Picnic Area located in Griffith Park. The Environmental Impact Report was released and the comment period is over. The last remaining approval lies in the hands of the Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners on April 2, 2014.

FLASH: In response to various shenanigans and misstatements by a local free paper, Los Feliz Ledger, Friends of Griffith Park has submitted this "Letter to the Editor."

OUR POSITION: Friends of Griffith Park encourages the City to use the Proposition K funds for youth recreational developments in a responsible manner. There are superior alternative locations to Crystal Springs that will serve city youth better than at a location that has been used for generations as the sole large-group picnic area and the favorite family picnic area in Griffith Park. These alternative locations have been largely ignored during the long process which will soon culminate in a decision at the Recreation and Parks Commission on April 2nd.

The City’s environmental assessment agrees with FoGP’s opinion. There are multiple “unavoidable SIGNIFICANT adverse impacts” at Crystal Springs, including:

  • biological resources (the loss of 45 mature trees, shade and wildlife habitat)
  • aesthetics

On April 2nd the Commission will need to adopt a “statement of over-riding considerations” for the construction of the two Crystal Springs ball fields to proceed.  They will need to sign off on a statement that “explains in detail why social, economic, legal, technical, or other beneficial aspects of the project outweigh the unavoidable, adverse environmental impacts.” Will they?

Over a thousand folks that know and love Griffith Park returned comments opposing the ball fields at the Crystal Springs location already. And many, many folks showed up at the official environmental hearing in November to oppose the project’s Crystal Springs location.

May we ask you one more favor? 

Please send a brief comment to the five Recreations and Parks Commissioners stating your opposition to the Crystal Springs location. You can reach all five by emailing to this one address: RAP.Commissioners@lacity.org  

Thanks!
Board of Directors, Friends of Griffith Park

The current proposal to build two new Proposition K ballfields on the site of the Crystal Springs Picnic Facility mandates:

  • A major reduction in the size of Crystal Springs Picnic Facility including area available for group and individual picnicking, free play and relaxation
  • Displacement of established picnickers and recreationists; compression and marginalization of those in the space remaining resulting in a net-loss of recreation for youth
  • Removal of 44 trees, including many native “protected” species, and the shade, coolness and beauty they provide
  • Loss of the acoustical barrier to the 5-Golden State Freeway provided by the trees that will be removed
  • Loss of habitat for wildlife (mammals and birds) that have incorporated Crystal Springs into their habitat.
  • Replacement of views of trees and greenery with hundreds of linear feet of barrier fencing hung with banners and signage
  • Introduction of amplified noise from two public address systems
  • Destruction of the Crystal Springs asphalt loop road that provides a safe place for small children to bicycle and families to use rented pedal-surries
  • Additional loss of picnic lawns and greenery not converted to the fields themselves to provide mandated parking.
  • Destruction of a Crystal Springs’ centerpiece tree, a giant native sycamore that is a City of Los Angeles “Heritage Tree”
  • Wasteful spending of scarce recreational dollars to demolish an immensely popular, established Picnic Facility that has served L.A. children and families since 1936—all to create ballfields that can be located elsewhere.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS HAS BEEN A PICNIC FACILITY ENJOYED AND LOVED BY LOS ANGELES SINCE 1936.  SUPPORT ITS CONTINUED EXISTENCE.