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Commentary: Neighborhood Council Update on Los Encinos State Historic Park

The Neighborhood Council is working hard on ways to save the park from closure in 2012, a member reports.

The following is from Kathy Moghimi-Patterson, a member of the Encino Neighborhood Council.

Due to the lack of time at the meeting last night, I was not able to report on The following is the summary of the efforts being made to keep the park open.

Pursuant to the Los Encinos Docent Association announced that it was willing and ready to take the donations for the park. A few other nonprofit organizations came forward to do the same. 

Los Encinos Docent has been exclusively involved with the Los Encinos park and state of California for many years now. Los Encinos Docent does not have a lot of personnel but this also means that this organization does not have substantial expenses and costs.

Accordingly, the majority agree that we should continue asking for the donations to go to Docent versus other nonprofit organizations. An independent community member, Amy Zidell, has been working with Docent to make a more comprehensive and fully integrated website for Saving Los Encinos. Special thanks to her for her volunteer work.   

It is important to remember that although the closure of the park is scheduled for July 1, 2012, realistically we need to collect $150,000 by May 2012. We need at least a couple of months to negotiate with the state and, hopefully, take the park off the list before the closure date.

Another park by the name of Mono Lake Park has been eliminated from the list of 70 California state parks facing closure. This is due to several reasons, such as the scientific and educational importance of the park. Also, the park has started taking admission fees. 

I have been in contact with Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield’s office to see whether we can do the same for Los Encinos, considering that the park has important historic and educational value. The difference between Mono Lake and Los Encinos is that Los Encinos does not have as many visitors as Mono Lake. 

Although it appears that Los Encinos cannot be easily removed from the list based on its historic and educational values, I continue my efforts to make it possible. It is important to continue spreading the word about Los Encinos. Laurie Kelson, Jean Strauber and I have been working hard to get the attention of the media and newspapers on this matter. Thanks to all of those involved.

We have also been in contact with influential people and many businesses in the community about the park and its closure. As mentioned before, donations are temporary bandages on the problem. The goal is to make the park profitable, or we will be facing the same issue year after year.

On Dec. 14, 2011, at 2 p.m., Sen. Pavley is holding a meeting on Los Encinos at the . A task force will be designated at this meeting. Please come to the meeting if you are serious and willing to help. Thank you for your attention.

—Kathy Moghimi-Patterson

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