Tag Archives: Burbank Parks and Recreation

Burbank Begins Renovation of City Parks

In with the new and out with the old! During out first full week of 2018, Earthwalk Park, which is located at 1922 Grismer Street, finished it’s long renovation process and opened its gates to a new playground for kids to enjoy. The park features all-new equipment, meaning none of the old playground stands as it was. While the continuous construction during the renovation process made driving around the area a hassle, the new park stands as a beacon of fun for kids in the area.

For those of you wondering, “What about my park?”, you will be happy to hear that Earthwalk Park was the first of many to be renovated throughout the city of Burbank. However, it is important to note that the renovation process takes time and the city is renovating the parks one at a time. Work on Earthwalk Park began weeks ago, but crews worked at a good pace.

Below are the next parks undergoing renovation:

The money to renovate these parks was approved in a budget before discussions of a budget deficit arose.

Night Terrors Haunted Adventures

This year marks the 21st annual Haunted Adventure put together by The City of Burbank Parks and Recreations department.

The “Night Terrors” haunted adventure, which opened on Friday the 13th and had their second day on the 14th withhold one last night of adventures on Friday, October 20th from 7-9pm. Tickets are priced at five dollars and can be purchased at the door. With there being five separate scenes in the adventure, patrons can expect to spend 15-20 minutes inside the maze.  The Haunted Adventure is located at 1299 Lockheed View Dr. at Stough Park.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Adrine Ovasapyan, The Recreation Coordinator with the City of Burbank Parks and Recreations department, was one of over a hundred city employees and volunteers who made the haunted house a possibility this year. “This is a volunteer-based program. We have over a hundred volunteers that help us throughout” said Ovasapyan. Cooper Savage, a sixth grader from Jordan Middle school who volunteered for the first time at the haunted adventure this year says his favorite part about the whole thing is “acting creepy.”  Rita Wells is also a first-time volunteer at the haunted adventure. Wells says that she thinks its “great that there are things now where the kids can come out and see each other’s costumes and have fun.” Jason Dyer from the City of Burbank Sports department has been volunteering with the haunted adventure for 8 years now. ” I love Halloween, I love working with such talented and inspiring people, and it’s just a lot of fun scenes, especially when new people come in and experience scaring people for the first time, and getting the community involved,” said Dyer.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

 

Stough Canyon Nature Center Recovers After La Tuna Fire

 

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Stough Canyon hiking trails, located near the Nature Center, suffered major losses to its vegetation and its sense of peace after the devastating La Tuna fire. Many avid hikers have had many questions regarding Burbank’s beloved hiking trails.

 

Now that the trails are open, Burbank’s Parks and Recreation team is ready to bounce back to begin work on returning the Nature Center and the Stough Canyon Hiking Trails back to normal. According to Marisa Garcia, Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation, the destructive fire came within thirty feet of the Nature Center. Much of the vegetation around the hiking trail is now gone.

“I was profoundly sad to see that my beloved Stough Canyon was so severely impacted by the fire,” said Kathy Sturdevant, an avid hiker of the Stough Canyon trails and California plant enthusiast. She went on to say that she’s “grateful that the nature center and the educational garden that surrounds it were spared, however, the images of the barren, scorched hillsides remain in my mind.  I felt such solace and peace in those hills, retreating there weekly to unwind from work.”

The fire has also left some of the foundation in a questionable state. While the trails are open right now, citizens should expect closures in the near future. Garcia elaborated on the future of the trails by revealing a closure is imminent for the purpose of maintenance. Furthermore, any time there is rain, the trails will be closed.

Photo By: Kelsie Hernandez

Garcia also stated that the Parks and Recreation department is building a committee of representatives from the department of Public Works and the Fire Department to discuss Stough Canyon recovery efforts, fire prevention, and preparation for rain. The City of Burbank does not have have a trails expert. Instead, to fill that void, the city is reaching out to other experts belonging to the Santa Monica Mountain Conservatory in the hopes of providing guidance on protocol on replanting procedures.

Garcia made note that anything replanted in the area will be native to our environment. Sturdevant, who has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in the subject, suggests “it will take some time for Stough to recover, but we need to be patient and let it recover on its own.  Our place is not to plant, but to allow it to regenerate itself, and perhaps help it along by removing the invasive species and as they come back as well and compete with the native plants.”

Greg Rubin, President and Founder of California’s Own Native Landscape Design, Inc., agrees with Sturdevant and suggests that it’s “better to devote the resources to controlling exotics and utilizing low impact erosion control. The worst scenario is to seed after fires – even if it is a “native” mix, inevitably the small percentage of exotic contaminants (like rye grass) will come to dominate these areas and actually contribute to worse erosion than if nothing had been done at all.”

Furthermore, Richard W. Hasley, Director of the California Chaparral Institute, states that “as long as fire is kept out of the area for at least 20-30 years, the system will recover ON ITS OWN without any need for human intervention. No plantings, no seeding, no tree planting, no mulching. Leave it alone. We’ve done enough damage through our clearance activities, development, and increased fire frequencies due to human-caused ignitions.”

Photo By: Kelsie Hernandez

 

As for what the public can do to help, always wear appropriate attire when visiting the trails, pick up any trash you see, don’t hike when it’s raining, don’t cross closure signs, let the city know when something along the trail is unstable, and never hike in the dark.

Tuttle Adult Center Hosts BBQ and Carnival for Senior Citizens

Photo By: Kelsie Hernandez

Last weekend, The City of Burbank’s Park and Recreation and the Burbank Nutrition Services sponsored a BBQ and Carnival event directed at our very own senior citizens. The event was attended by many, who were promptly treated to a variety activities including carnival games, raffles, Bingo, and Texas Hold’Em.

Attendees all wore smiles on their faces as they were treated to food, music, and ice cream. Sweets were in no shortage either. Both Cotton Candy and Snow Cones were available for anyone with a large sweet tooth.

Photo By: Kelsie Hernandez

On the event, a representative had this to say: “From this event, we come together with the community and give happiness to the seniors and the experience that they get from this event, along with meeting other people. And we’re keeping them mobile. Keeping them going, happy, and active, which is the important thing yet for our seniors.”

 

Park Land Giveaway Hurts Burbank Now…and in Future

It has been to long of a layoff, so Thoughts from the Bullpen is back!

They say if you ever want to make an investment in something, invest in land.  It’s not a stock or commodity, it does not disappear, it is something tangible. Land is infinite and will always be there.  In the eight square miles of Burbank there is only so much land…and so little of that is park land.

Our City Council is taking up the issue of park land in Burbank. This issue has come to the forefront because the Boys & Girls Club has outgrown their facilities and would like to build a $4 million structure in Larry Maxam Park (formerly known as Pacific Park).

According to the City of Burbank, the City currently provides three acres of open space for each 1,000 people with their goal to be five acres.

With new projects such as Talaria, which has already been approved and a new large scale housing project that has been discussed for the present Ikea site, resident numbers can only go up.

Open space and green grass is what makes up a park. Besides the amount of space a building would take up, there is also the immediate area around the building (walkways, fencing, etc.) that also take up room.

This issue is NOT about the Boys and Girls Club, this issue is about parkland in Burbank.

Yes, other areas in Burbank parks have been sliced up and developed. The Tennis Center in McCambridge, the Roller Hockey Ring in Foy Park to name a couple. There is also other development in parks such as a Theatre and Museum in Izay Park, community and senior centers, basketball, tennis and softball fields.  While those have taken up space and reduced green grass, they also provide a direct benefit to the community as far as physical fitness of both the mind and body are concerned. Any member of the community may use any of those facilities by getting the proper permit at anytime.

While the Boys and Girls Club is a nonprofit organization, they are designed to help children only which means they are excluding many to the facilities that is on public land.

Also, in this instance, the area they would like to use has other considerations.  To start, it is in a residential neighborhood. The park does not offer a lot of parking. There is usually just enough for the participants of the softball field which very little left over.

While their intentions are honorable, many use the Boys and Girls Club as an afternoon day care. In the late afternoon, many parents will be driving into the neighborhood to pick up their kids, creating an unwanted traffic and potential illegal parking situation.  You also have employee parking issues as well as company vans that would need parking.

Besides quality of life issues for people that live near the park, there is also the question of what happens when the next nonprofit wants their pie of the pie (I mean the park!), Are we going to start giving away pieces of Carson Park or Mountain View Park? Giving groups permanent usage of a public park is a bad idea.

Of course, you can always rent-a-park. If you would like Maxam Park, the City has a rate sheet for anything you can think of. (Maxam Park rental rates).

Our City Council is going to take up the procedure of how to give away park land to groups. They are trying to figure out if a super majority 4/5 vote should happen or if it should go out to voters. While the thought is nice, they have to realize that they (and us) are the custodians of the future. It is up to us to not only enjoy that open land but to protect it for our future generations.

It’s all about land, the public’s land.

 

City of Burbank/Dodger Night, MVP Summer Basketball Camp and Much More Coming Up

Burbank Parks and Recreation has several upcoming events this summer for teenagers as well as families. From skateboarding to basketball camp to attending a Dodger game, you can’t go wrong! Here they are so you may enjoy your summer vacation to the fullest!

Be sure to scroll down to see each flyer:

City of Burbank Dodger Night

MVP Summer Camp

Burbank Park and Rec

Burbank Saints Win SCMAF Consolation Championship

Burbank Saints (Photos courtesy of Steve Hubbell)

Burbank Saints (Photos courtesy of Steven Hubbell)

The Burbank Saints were crowned the “C” Division Consolation Champions of the 2014 SCMAF (Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation) Championships.  The tournament was held at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo on December 6 and 7.

The Saints are coached by Steven Hubbell, Chris Hernandez and George Robinson.  The Saints dominated the Burbank League with a 15-0-1 record and then advanced to the regional SCMAF tournament in Azusa where they came in 3rd with a 2-1 record.

Two weeks later at the SCMAF Championships, the Saints faced Blythe in the first round and lost, 26-16.  The Saints then beat up on Saddleback (35-0), Cerritos (37-12), and Oxnard (18-8) to become Consolation Champs.

The team is composed of Santiago Hernandez, Isaac Newman, Marcus Manahan, Collis Lurie, Tyler Bowne, Noah Crues, AJ Vargas, Landen O’Brien, Dylan Robinson, Ryan Hernandez, and Ethan Hubbell.

Congratulations to our Burbank Saints!