Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beautiful View, Beautiful Park

Vista Hermosa Natural Park
Last Sunday, my family strolled this gorgeous 10-acre park just west of downtown LA. Unprompted, my husband commented, "Every neighborhood should have a park like this."

With my heart aflutter over the large palette of mostly native plants, I was thinking something similar. Kudos to landscape architect Mia Lehrer for a gorgeous design. I can't help wishing some of the degraded stretches of Griffith Park looked more like this.

Vista Hermosa offers sweet views of downtown, including Disney Hall. We enjoyed strolling through the young sycamores, alders

and willows.

Larks scurried along a grassy gully, yellow-rumped warbles flashed their buttery backsides, and white-crowned sparrows seemed to be playing hide-and-seek under some alders.

Grasses don't usually thrill me. But the fine texture of the bunch grasses here on a misty, soft-lit morning was magical. I also enjoyed the intermingling of red-blossomed California fuchsia with petite roses bursting with red hips.

In the children's play area, my son enjoyed walking atop this snake, and sliding down a giant turtle.

The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy created Vista Hermosa with funding from two state water bonds, and LA's proposition 12. An amiable park ranger was on hand the day we visited.

After the park, we lit out for lunch in Japan town. It was a sweet itinerary for an increasingly beautiful city.

100 N. Toluca Street
Los Angeles 90026

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