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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Encino

Anniversary Celebration Set in Recreation Area

November 02, 1998|ROBERTO J. MANZANO

In a celebration featuring free oak trees and activities for kids, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area will observe its 20th anniversary Sunday.

The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy will mark the event at San Vicente Mountain Park in Encino from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

About 1,000 oak trees, from 4 to 6 feet tall, will be given away, said Reva Concoff, chief of staff at the conservancy. Guests may pick up the trees, which include planting and care instructions, on the day of the event or later at Franklin Canyon Park, 2600 Franklin Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills, Concoff said.

During the festivities, park rangers will give demonstrations, and counselors will teach children how to plant seeds. Visitors may also see a photographic display spanning two decades of conservancy history.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the National Parks and Recreation Act that established the recreation area. The act has helped preserve 300,000 acres of mainland Mediterranean ecosystem--home to more than 450 animal species, including mountain lions, gray foxes and long-tailed weasels, said Paul Edelman, a biologist with the conservancy. Threatened animals, including the San Diego coast horn lizard and red-legged frogs, also live there, Edelman said.

The park can be reached by taking the Mulholland Drive exit off the San Diego Freeway. Go west on Mulholland about 1.7 miles to Encino Hills Drive. Turn left onto the dirt portion of Mulholland; rangers will direct visitors to parking areas.

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