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The future of Griffith Park

June 02, 2007

Re "Griffith after the ashes," May 28

Leave Griffith Park alone! Let it repair itself naturally like the desert does, like the forest does. It would be a great lesson to the school kids in L.A. County: Watch how nature takes care of itself. The $50 million can be better spent.

TIM ELLIOTT

Burbank

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As a mixed-ethnicity renter with lower-middle-class roots, I disagree that preserving Griffith Park's native ecology exclusively serves the privileged. I often hear that conservation equals white privilege; active recreation equals environmental justice. Although I agree that severe park shortages correlate with race and class, and much public park bond spending on rural and suburban conservation has reinforced this, hiking is hardly the sole domain of the affluent. All ethnically diverse children deserve to bond with native landscapes -- creek, wetland, prairie, scrub or woodland -- and experience the wondrous discovery, aesthetic and biological richness and spiritual refuge that nature provides. There is a difference between improving access -- bus service, bikeway connections -- and changing the use of Griffith Park. Rather than further deplete our native habitats, we should be working to restore them throughout neighborhoods. Our actions decide not only the nature of childhood but humanity's relationship to nature.

JESSICA HALL-VALDeS

Echo Park

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