Elysian Park was opened 130 years ago and named after the Greek concept of heaven - the Elysian Fields.
Today, this green escape has a quiet to it that belies its location next to one of Los Angelesís busiest freeways. The rush of diesel engines is replaced with the rush of the wind, and the urban bustle is replaced by the scuttle of gecko feet and, if youíre lucky, the echoing screech of a red tailed hawk above.
But today, the park faces a complex web of problems that are putting its future in jeopardy. The same drought that is killing off trees across LA has hit Elysian Park hard, and the parkís broken irrigation system has only made things worse. But there is a plan that aims to usher the park into a new, more sustainable stage of its life.
As of October 2016 Land Life has joined forces with Arbor Day Foundation, Boise Paper, City Plants, Office Depot and the L.A. Department of Water and Power to reforest Elysian Park with the help of hundreds of community volunteers. During three planting days with over 500 volunteers, more than 300 trees were planted with the Cocoon.
A replenished tree canopy will bring health benefits like shade, clean air and improved scenery to park visitors. But as LA Councilman Mitch OíFarrell points out, the park is also home to nesting owls, gray foxes, coyotes, squirrels and other animals, all of which need a healthy tree canopy for survival.
Elysian Park Trivia
- Elysian Park was opened in 1886 and is the cityís second largest with 604 acres.
- Elysian Park lies next to Dodger Stadium, home to LAís beloved baseball team the LA Dodgers.
- Coyotes have regularly been spotted in and around Elysian Park and over the years.