The best place to reflect on King’s legacy? This grove of trees

I can’t think of a better place to commemorate the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. than at the highest point of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in Baldwin Hills. This is where you will find a grove of trees and a memorial dedicated to the civil rights leader killed in 2018. Most people know little about this special place. The city views are second to none, framed by stones engraved with King’s inspirational quotes and an obelisk of his likeness. “There are undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of memorials, institutions, streets, avenues, boulevards and other monuments around the world that are dedicated to Dr King,” the former supervisor said. of Los Angeles County, Mark Ridley-Thomas, at the dedication event. “But today we’re looking to do something a little different and a little bit special. Today we meet Dr. King at the top of the mountain. The 15,000 square foot grove is meant to evoke the outdoor site where King gave his 1963 ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in Washington, D.C.

Take this easy hike to the memorial which is a few miles round trip: start at Norman O. Houston Park at 4800 S. La Brea Ave., walk through La Brea and take a dirt road called Ron’s Trail. The trail climbs gently in a loop. Turn right to connect with part of the Bowl Loop and onto the Western Ridgeline Trail, where you’ll find the memorial – and the views. It’s a great place to pause and reflect on King’s legacy. You can visit another local King landmark, a sculpture of white panels arranged in a circle. The King Memorial is located at 205 S. Willowbrook Drive in Compton. If you go further over the three-day weekend, national parks and forests as well as other federal lands that charge entrance fees will be free on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For example, Yosemite National Park is waiving the $35 per car entrance fee. Incidentally, the lengthy Los Angeles Kingdom Day Parade scheduled for Monday has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

3 things to do this week

Red Rock Canyon in Orange County.

(Matt Pawlik)

1. Hike the hidden red rocks of Orange County. Red Rock Canyon is one of those names that seems out of place in the OC Not So. The hidden gem at the edge of Lake Forest is fairly easy to reach on a 4-mile round-trip hike following the Borrego Canyon and Red Rock Canyon trails in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. If you want to learn more about the geology, join a Sierra Club Angeles Chapter hike at 8 a.m. on January 22. Geologist Jay Schneider will lead the group on an easy hike and talk about the history of the massive sandstone formations. The hike is free; more information here. Check out more hikes in Orange County.

Competitors in racing gear and wearing numbers race under palm trees and blue skies.

LA Marathon runners in March 2020.

(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

2. Challenge yourself to run your age? Writer Christopher Solomon lays out a case for “running your age” in 2022 in this LA Times opinion piece. Yes, that means continuously running a mile for every year you are on the planet. Three-year-olds and 95-year-olds can find it intimidating – so do I. If you can’t run, Solomon offers a variation of a potential New Year’s resolution. “Run your age… Or take it as a metaphor,” he wrote. “Do something so big you can barely fit your arms around it, so big it scares you, big enough to make you reconsider. Quit the job you hate, the one with the golden handcuffs. Get up at 4 a.m. every day to write the memoirs you’re afraid to tell but can’t stop thinking about. Support the cause that will open the door wide for you and could cause you to lose your friends and your family.

An illustration includes garden tools and three camellia flowers.

(Micah Fluellen/Los Angeles Times)

3. Camellia lovers, now is the time. Plan to see these local gardening shows. Large, showy camellias bloom in January and February in Southern California. You can expect to see varieties from Japan as well as yields of seeds imported from China and other Asian countries. The Southern California Camellia Society is holding a show Jan. 22-23 at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge and a second show Jan. 29-30 at the LA County Arboretum in Arcadia. (Entrance fees are required at both gardens.) It costs nothing if you want to enter your favorite flower. And there’s more. Camellia shows continue through February, where you can savor different varieties and learn more about how to grow them. Find out why this is the month to bask in camellias.

wild paths

A pickup truck with both doors open sits in a snowy campground amid coniferous trees.  Inside is a dog on top of a bed.

Millie watches a snowy morning in Grand Canyon National Park.

(Jessica Martinez/Los Angeles Times)

Are you planning to hit the road with your pandemic pup? Digital writer Jessica Martinez writes about what she learned while traveling with Millie, her 11-month-old goldendoodle, to Capitol Reef, Arches, Rocky Mountain, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Grand Canyon national parks. Some of the pre-trip questions that concern Martinez: “Did we do the right thing by taking Millie with us? Would she like to be in the van most of the time? Would she behave? Would there be enough for her to see and do? Tips include practicing driving your dog (especially if your pet isn’t used to a moving vehicle) and providing comforts, such as a dog bed and chew sticks. Discover the 10 ways to travel with your pup without stress for both of you.

The essential

A GIF of an outcrop of dirt on a beach shows the area with a narrow arch, then with rubble where the arch was.

Before and after images of Spooner’s Cove Arch, near Montaña de Oro State Park, which collapsed during recent rains.

(Helena Yungbluth)

Aww, we love our special outdoor spots, and we mourn them when they go away. Tourists to Spooner’s Cove in Montaña de Oro State Park used to marvel at a small rock arch perched above the ocean. “Regular” because heavy rains and December storms caused the park arch to collapse near Morro Bay. “I knew it was fragile,” Dan Krieger, professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, told The Times. “I fell in love with it, and when I heard it was gone, I felt a sense of loss.” Others expressed similar sentiments on social media. Large ocean waves have carved caves and arches into the sandstone cliffs, giving the California coast its distinctive look. Learn more about the ark and its fans in this story.

The red flag

Behind a wooden fence are evenly spaced trees against a blue sky.

An olive orchard at the Ojai Olive Oil Co. in the Ojai Valley.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Is the Ojai Valley a paradise or a place in danger? Hard to say as the area’s water source is starting to dry up, says Stephanie Pincetl, a professor at UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability, who wrote an op-ed for The Times . The resort and agricultural area 83 miles north of downtown Los Angeles has for years drawn on the Lake Casitas Reservoir, built in the 1950s. But, with less reliable rains and more drought conditions , everything changed. What can be done? Pincetl has some ideas, but it will take some rethinking — a situation other California communities will likely face as well. “The driving force behind this new ethic is loving a place, and I see glimpses of that in the Ojai Valley and those learning to farm within the confines of this small place,” Pincetl writes. “This means learning about the groundwater resources of an area, how to effectively reinfiltrate stormwater when it rains, making sure there is enough mulch to maintain soil moisture and boost soil fertility, planting locally appropriate plants in gardens and treating water as precious and life-giving.”


Close up of a cougar's face.

Resident of Griffith Park P-22.

(National Park Service)

P-22 makes home visits (uninvited). Take a look at Los Angeles’ most famous mountain lion on the Ring video (included in the link below) taken in the backyard of a Beachwood Canyon home on January 4. “I was shocked to see a lion’s tail,” resident Leilani Fideler told The Times. “I saw him jump over my door. It was just wild. Officials know it’s P-22 because he’s wearing a tracking collar. The lion called Griffith Park home for a decade. Learn more about P-22 at Beachwood Canyon.

A person in mud boots leans on a shovel beside a running stream.

California State Parks environmental scientist John Ota works to shovel mud and debris at the Leo Carrillo State Park campground Dec. 31.

(Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

Major December storms in Southern California caused flooding that shut down Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu. The park and its popular campground will remain closed until January 31. Fifty campers were evacuated from the campground on December 30 when water surged over the area, causing vehicles to become stuck in mud.

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Click to view the web version of this newsletter and share it with others, and sign up to receive it weekly in your inbox. I am Marie Forgione, and I write The Wild. I’ve been exploring the trails and open spaces of Southern California for four decades.

Marie Forgione

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