Rotary Trails in Ernest E. Debs Park
Co-Chairs: Don Crocker and Carolyn DeVinny
LA5 had a strong desire to embrace an environmental project. After looking at the opportunities around us, LA5 adopted Ernest E. Debs Park, located in Northeast Los Angeles. This park is the site of the new Audubon Center in Debs Park, the first urban nature center established by Audubon. Audubon selected Debs Park because it has an abundance of wildlife and features walnut woodlands, which is a rare plant community. Over 50,000 elementary school children live within a 2-mile radius of the park.
LA5 is providing $150,000 over a 3-year period and is bringing in members, volunteers and organizations with which we have an affiliation, to make improvements to the park.
Our specific tasks are items that were specified on the City of Los Angeles Master Plan for the park, and include trail building, eradication of non-native / escaped exotic plants, native plant installation and other tasks to be determined. Trails will connect an existing public parking area serving the ball fields and the Native Terraced Gardens to an upper level picnic area. Another trail will have benches and a scenic overlook towards the city.
Trail improvements include trail building and re-grading where necessary to provide increased access for strollers and wheelchairs. These trails will help protect native vegetation and habitat by encouraging people to use the trails, instead of forging new ones.
In addition, the club has set aside $5,000 per year ($15,000) to fund activities and programs for volunteers in the park. Activities are planned to build awareness, respect for nature and a sense of ownership / stewardship to the projects.
LA5's Hiking Committee try out the Rotary Trail in Debs Park.
Nichole Baker and Pearl Leeka take a break to enjoy the view in Debs Park.