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La Cienega Blvd. and the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, as seen from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, facing east.

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area ("Hahn Park") is a California state park located in Baldwin Hills, California, a southwestern district of the City of Los Angeles. The 319-acre (1.29 km2)[1] park is managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. As one of the largest urban parks in Los Angeles, some have called it "L.A.'s Central Park".

Contents

Background

The Park is named after Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member Kenneth Hahn, father of former L.A. mayor Jim Hahn. The park opened in 1983 as the Baldwin Hills State Recreational Area and was renamed in Hahn's honor in 1988. Since its opening, the park has been expanded as nearby oil wells have dried up.

The area where the park is located was at one time inhabited by the Tongva aboriginal people. As Los Angeles quickly grew during the 20th century, only the park's rugged terrain protected it from being developed.

In 1932 the area east of the park was used as the site of the first Olympic Village[2] during the 10th Olympiad, which Los Angeles hosted. In 1984 Los Angeles again hosted the Olympic Games, drawing athletes from 140 nations. To serve as a continual reminder of the events, 140 trees have been planted together on the hills where the 1932 events took place. Each tree represents a nation that took part in the 1984 Olympics[3].

Between 1947 and 1951, the doomed Baldwin Hills Reservoir was built on the site. In 1963, the reservoir's dam collapsed disastrously, and the bowl of the reservoir is still quite evident today.

In the late 1940s, there were plans to build the aborted Laurel Canyon Freeway (SR-170) on a north-south path that would have dissected the park, where La Cienega Blvd. travels currently.

In 1977, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn convinced Vice President Walter Mondale[citation needed] to reuse the land for a park. At the time the area was a very popular spot for the new sport of motocross. Locals knew it as 'Motorcycle Hill'. Land acquired for the park includes former oil-drilling sites (some can still be seen), and territory near the Ballona Creek watershed that forms a partial wildlife passage out through Culver City to the sea.

Recreational uses

The Park offers several walking trails, and some of the best scenic vistas of Downtown Los Angeles, west to the ocean and north to the Hollywood sign. It is also an ideal place for a picnic, having 100 picnic tables in various parts of the park, as well as four playgrounds, a half basketball court, a Japanese garden, a fishing lake, a stream, a waterfall, a lit multi-purpose field, and a sand volleyball court. The lake is stocked monthly with trout or catfish, depending on the season[4].

In Media

The park has been used as a filming location for several productions, including an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Once More With Feeling").

The golf scene in the film Swordfish (film) was filmed in the adjacent oil field.

The music video for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's Nuthin' but a G thang was filmed here.

The park is mentioned in the song The Ice Plant Amphitheater by folk singer John Craigie.

The park is featured in the video game, Midnight Club: Los Angeles.

Ecology

The park is home to gray foxes, raccoons, skunks, desert cottontails, possums, and the California quail, among other animals.

The Baldwin Hills area is also the nesting grounds of 41 species of birds[5], and the Los Angeles, Santa Monica Bay, and Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon Society chapters offer monthly bird walks in Hahn Park.

Location

4100 South La Cienega Boulevard (Los Angeles, CA 90056) in Baldwin Hills. Latitude/Longitude: 34.0086 / -118.3644

The Park is somewhat difficult to access by pedestrians. The easiest way to enter is by car or bus, using the exit (ramp on right, follow signs) off La Cienega Blvd[6].

External links

[[Category:Regional parks in California]

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