Category Archives: Encino

Los Encinos State Historic Park

Los Encinos State Historic ParkLos Encinos State Historic ParkLos Encinos State Historic ParkLos Encinos State Historic Park

Juan Crespi, member of Portola’s 1769 expedition that put Los Angeles on the map, chronicled: “. . . We set up camp beneath a large live oak upon the south side of the valley, here close to a very large pool of very pure water at the foot of the mountain range on this side; where we came upon two large villages of very fine, well-behaved and very friendly heathens who must have amounted to about 200 souls, men, women and children.”

Of course, this land that said “heathens” inhabited went under Spanish rule during the mission period.  The historic adobes we see now weren’t built until 1849 and 1868, by ranchero Vincente De La Osa and the sheep farming Garnier brothers, respectively.  The 4,460-acre rancho passed through many hands throughout the 19th century.  1917 marked the beginning of its subdivision.  This 5-acre park measures to about 0.11% of the original rancho.

Los Encinos State Historic Park was created in 1949 to protect the remaining structures and the precious spring that attracted man to this parcel of land to begin with. This park has done a fine job luring the children of Encino toward our heritage via the opportunity to feed ducks. But, this park’s closure is looming, as the state has declared it not worthy of foreseeable funding.  A private donor has given $150,000 for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, but what happens next year?

I often fantasize about beers, burgers, and benefaction, by which I mean turning the old El Torito into a delicious gastropub with fantastic sandwiches and carefully selected microbrews to be enjoyed on a porch by the pond.  This establishment would then donate its proceeds toward keeping the park open.  Thoughts?

For more information about the park, check here:

Lake Balboa

Lake BalboaLake BalboaLake BalboaLake Balboa

Smooshed between two golf courses and an army base, this Sepulveda Dam runoff is 27 acres of amoeba shaped lake on which you can fly fish, pedal boat, or BYOKayak. There’s a mile long path around the lake lined with charcoal grills, family picnics, and 1000 trees donated by the Valley Industry and Commerce Association.  But while getting your morning walk on, the best part is watching the birds.  People say dogs help combat depression, but birds are both dumber and hungrier than dogs making for a scenic and uplifting exercise regime.

For directions or moonbounce rental information, check here:

San Vicente Mountain Park

San Vicente Mountain ParkSan Vicente Mountain ParkSan Vicente Mountain ParkSan Vicente Mountain Park

Remnants of the Cold War Nike-Ajax anti-aircraft base furnish aeriel views of the city, ocean, mountains and valley. Quite impressive. There’s also a self-guided tour around the park.

While the history is fun, San Vicente Mountain is most often visited for its convenient location at the edge of paved Mulholland.  Hikers, mountain bikers, and nature seekers can access dirt Mulholland and the mountains beyond from San Vicente’s parking lot.

For more about this park check here:

Encino Oak Tree

The median containing the Encino Oak Tree.Encino California Oak Tree stumpTimelineThe end of the tree, death becomes the tree.

Encino means oak tree in Spanish. There are several California Live Oaks around the neighborhood, but this one was over 1000 years old before it fell over in a 1998 El Nino rainstorm.

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