Inner City Hike Program
Working with the Sierra Clubís Inner City Outing Committee, Friends of Griffith Park has exposed some 300 students from Los Angeles area urban schools to the natural history and outdoor fun found in Griffith Park. Since March 2011, Friends of Griffith Park has variously underwritten bus transportation, provided lunch, supplied seasoned hike leaders to act as Park guides, and arranged for experts on the Parkís flora and fauna to impart their knowledge and enthusiasm to the kids.
The first hike was held on March 27th celebrating the second anniversary of Griffith Park's designation as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. This hike targeted 6th graders. Talks were given about the history of the Park from Spanish land grant days to the present, and participants experienced first-hand the natural heart of our City and learned about the important role it plays in our past and present.
Using the Parkís trails as a path to learning, students have not only absorbed lessons about ecology and history, they have learned hiking skills and discovered the joy of outdoor exercise, healthy habits that we hope will last a lifetime. One of 2011ís eight Griffith Park hikes recognized the Los Angeles River as an important aspect of Griffith Park, a stretch of the river being part of Griffith Park itself. At the riverís bank, the kids learned about the riverís changing water course over the years and its ecological connection to the larger terrestrial portion of the park. And they got their sneakers muddy!
Thank you to the Sierra Club ICO Committee, committed teachers, and to everyone who has helped facilitate this program which Friends of Griffith Park plans to continue and expand into next year. Colonel Griffith would agree that this is a wonderful way to celebrate the Park as a natural and historic landmark!