One of the things that helps makes our areas special is O’Melveny Park. At 672 acres it’s second in size in the city park system only to Griffith Park. It may not have some of the things Griffith Park has, like a golf course, zoo, or merry-go-round, but that’s actually a good thing. O’Melveny is a wonderful splash of undeveloped landscape nestled up next to the busy streets of the city.
If you haven’t been through the park lately it’s time to head back for a visit, especially while the hills are still green from the rain of past months. There are some great splashes of color from a wide variety of wildflowers, especially if you take the time – and effort – to hike past the meadow at the base of the park. Please enjoy the flowers and feel free to take as many pictures as you like, but don’t take the actual flowers themselves. There may be a lot of them up there, but if everyone took just one flower home the hills would soon look pretty barren. Not only that, picking flowers on city property is prohibited by law, and there are some nasty penalties if you get caught!
The city has recently installed new water fountains in the lower section of the park, and they even have a special section for thirsty dogs. Thanks to the Patriot Oil Community Benefit Trust for funding the project. Please remember that the city leash laws do apply in all sections of O’Melveny Park. It may be tempting to let your four-legged friend loose for a romp, but please keep the safety of other visitors in mind and keep your dog safely on a leash.
Speaking of safety, as things warm up you run a chance of coming across a rattlesnake basking in the sun. Keep alert and watch for them, and if you spot one, keep a safe distance. The snakes are another good reason to keep your dog close to you, and away from any snake that might be out there. Don’t let the snakes scare you off, though. They’re up there but they would prefer to stay far away from you as well.
A final word of caution. Don’t leave any valuables in sight in your car before you head into the park. The video cameras watching the parking lot have greatly reduced the problem of thefts from the cars in the lot, but don’t make it easy for anyone who might be interested in your items.
If you spot anything in the park that needs repair, or have any questions about the park facilities, you can reach the Parks & Recreation Dept. at (818) 363-3556.
We hope to see you up in the park soon!!