$10,000 National Grant Awarded to Fern Dell Project

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Fall 2013

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Friends of Griffith Park is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The application for the grant was enthusiastically supported by two influential groups: 1) the Cultural Landscape Foundation which had named Fern Dell to its 2012 National Landslide list of significant- but-threatened cultural landscapes and 2) the Los Angeles Conservancy which recognized Fern Dell’s cultural significance and need for rehabilitation. The grant money goes directly into the Fern Dell Fund, established specifically for the rehabilitation of historic Fern Dell.

This is the first national grant Friends of Griffith Park has received and reinforces the national value of Fern Dell and Griffith Park. “Without organizations like Friends of Griffith Park, communities and towns all across America would have a diminished sense of place,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The National Trust for Historic Preservation is honored to provide a grant to Friends of Griffith Park’s Fern Dell Fund, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared heritage.” The Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation was created in 1994 and aims to save historic environments in order to foster an appreciation of our nation’s diverse cultural heritage and to preserve and revitalize the livability of the nation’s communities. The national selection process is very competitive and Friends of Griffith Park received the highest award available (awards range from $2,500 to $10,000). The Favrot Grant application was written under the direction of FoGP’s Fern Dell Ad Hoc Committee and, in part, by the pro bono services of The Arroyo Guild.

“Thanks to a dollar-for-dollar matching grant from a private donor, a total of $20,000 will now be added into the Fern Dell Fund,” stated Gerry Hans, FoGP president. “We’d like to thank the National Trust and our key matching donor for investing in Friends of Griffith Park and our important work at Fern Dell.” Exciting? Yes, indeed! But…

What you can do now

This is where we need you to help make these plans sprout, grow and bloom. Many of you have already made donations to the Fern Dell Fund and we thank you. We’ve now reached about 25% of our Phase II goal. Won’t you join the National Trust, the Griffith Charitable Trust and your fellow Friends of Griffith Park in supporting the rehabilitation of historic Fern Dell? There are several ways you can help. First, become a member of Friends of Griffith Park friendsofgriffithpark.org. Make a donation to the Fern Dell Fund and ask your friends to do so as well. Remember, every dollar you contribute is doubled, providing two dollars to Fern Dell with our matching grant challenge.

Fern Dell Phase II

Currently, we are launching the start of Phase II of the Fern Dell Initiative by building off the successful completion of Phase I (the preparation of a formal Cultural Landscape Assessment Report to describe the site and make recommendations that was funded by a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation Los Angeles County Preservation Fund with matching funds from the Griffith J. Griffith Charitable Trust). Phase II is a detailed planning process that calls for numerous technical studies by consultants working hand-in-hand with the Department of Recreation and Parks Planning Division to tell us the best way to preserve and revitalize this charming section of Griffith Park. The studies start with an accurate technical survey of Fern Dell’s 20 acres. Then come technical assessments of every element of the cultural landscape including:

  • Hydrologists to restore streams and ponds;
  • Certified arborists to inventory and evaluate trees;
  • Fern experts to plan invasive plant removal and replanting of fern ­species;
  • Irrigation specialists to design sprinkler systems;
  • Ecologists to assess wildlife;
  • Historic preservationists and landscape architects to evaluate and appropriately repair and preserve all of the built environment;
  • Cost estimators to provide critical information as to how much it will actually cost to repair and revitalize Fern Dell.

Without Phase II, there is no way to determine what Fern Dell will require to be brought back and maintained. Our goal is to raise well over $200,000 to accomplish the critical work outlined in Phase II.

Fern Dell thanks you for your support.

UPDATE ON PHASE II (Restoration and Rehabilitation Technical Assessment)

Major park undertakings require careful planning, years in the case of Fern Dell’s revitalization. In 2012, we completed Phase I, Cultural Landscape Assessment. We are excited to announce that Fern Dell Phase II, Restoration and Rehabilitation Technical Assessment, is now fully funded at $250,000.

We can only say… thank you, thank you, thank you, to all the individual donors who decided Fern Dell is very much worth saving and wrote checks. Notable organizations which helped complete Phase II funding include LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Feliz Improvement Association, Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, and Oaks Homeowners.

Along the way, we received an important grant award from Favrot Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Our warmest thank-you goes to our anonymous donor whose matching funds helped us reach our goal at twice the speed! ­

Several parts of Fern Dell Phase II are complete, including a hydrological analysis. Natural and supplemental water sources, soils, and the possibility of reinstating a recirculating water system have been studied. Many remaining aspects of work are now under contract and in progress with completion certain in 2015.

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