It was an overcast November morning in Debs Park, 10 years ago and excitement was in the air. A loud procession led by a mariachi band came up the hill. In tow, were hundreds of kids carrying artwork representing the animals of Los Angeles and supporters of the movement to connect urban dwellers with nature. This was the day that the Audubon Center at Debs Park first opened its gates to the community. Since that day, Audubon has been providing a gathering place for the community to experience, understand, and care for the natural world. Hundreds of thousands of people have passed through the Audubon Center at Debs Park for a little slice of nature right in the middle of the City.
Here are some reflections of our supporters:
I remember working with Melanie Ingalls during the exploratory phase of establishing the Center in Debs Park many years ago. I was helping Jerry Schneider at that time, planting trees, abating invasive plants, cutting trails, and related activities. Hard to believe it has been 15-20 years since all this took place.
We have soooo many great memories about the Audubon at Debs Park, our son Will has been going to summer camp there since he was 6! He's now 12 and proudly a part of the Green Team. But even before Will was going to camp, we attended many birthday parties in your gorgeous grounds and have hiked up to Peanut Lake countless times, seen your movies......we love that you are a part of our community!!!!!
Our family first visited the center at Debs Park when it first opened. Attention to the community and environment was evident by the details: native plants, wildlife, education, etc. We have continue to visit through the years, as the center has provided an all important education extension to learning about the environment we live in.
Just working everyday with the children on the surrounding community. Teaching them how to enjoy watching birds and tr importance of preserving the environment that we live in. Teaching them that nature even exist in an urban setting. The biggest payback for me was during the summer camps. I could really see the children's appreciation evolve from "just being there" to completely engaged with the activities and nature. I love this place and the time I spent there.
I plan my summers around Film Fridays at Aubudon Center at Debs Park, and I've yet to miss one. For my school--Leo Politi Elementary School--it's a way of staying connected during the break. Connected to one another, connected to the wonders of nature. One of my favorite photos in my office is of a group of moms chasing me high up on the trail after they realized just how far I'd made them hike! I can't wait to get them all out there for a longer hike this summer.
Please join the Audubon Center at Debs Park on Saturday, November 9th, from 1-4 for a community celebration of our work in Los Angeles. Find out more info about our event here.