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Volunteers Needed for Hands Across the Parklands

April 14, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Despite the daunting task of creating a human link Sunday across the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, organizers of Hands Across the Parklands said the event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the park is running smoothly.

"It's the first time we've attempted something like this, so we're unsure of what it's going to look like when it's done," said Jeff Blum, event chairman and director the Santa Monica Mountains Fund. "So you just pray for the best."

The actual anniversary of the parkland is Nov. 10.

So far about 15,000 of the 35,000 people needed have signed up to reach across about 32 miles along Mulholland Drive and Mulholland Highway from Topanga Canyon Boulevard to Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu.

Although organizers had envisioned an unbroken chain of about 85,000 people clasping hands from the Hollywood Hills to the beach, winter storm damage caused much of the route along "Dirt Mulholland" to be closed.

Instead, the eastern portion of the event will begin at 7 a.m. with a "Treelay," a relay race with participants carrying a coastal live oak sapling for a baton.

The tree will be transported from Griffith Park, heading west for about 35 miles. It will then be planted at Malibu Creek State Park.

Participants in the western section are expected to gather at one of eight staging areas at 8:30 a.m., before hiking or shuttling up to a mile to link up to another group at 10.

The staging areas best able to accommodate those driving in on Sunday will be Peter Strauss Ranch, Paramount Ranch and Malibu Creek State Park, he said.

For more information, call (818) 906-6688. Details are also available on-line at

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