Woodley Park, R.I.P.

A man rides his mini bike down a bike path at Lake Balboa in the Sepulveda Basin as a wall of flames approaches Saturday, July 18, 2020. The fire put up a huge cloud of smoke and burned for well over an hour near a model airplane park and along Woodley Avenue. The blaze charred about 4 acres of brush before over 60 firefighters managed to contain it. No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported. (Photo by Mike Meadows, contributing photographer)

One of the ameliorating joys of moving to Van Nuys in 2000 was escaping, on bike, to Woodley Park, that formerly glorious area of bird sanctuaries, bike paths, grasslands, ponds, and the Japanese Garden.

Through the years I was so happy to ride through it, to feel the wind and the sun and openness of the park, a place to photograph, and wander and exercise in.

Since the reign of Mayor Eric Garcetti (Garbageciti) began in 2013, the park has become a homeless encampment, with hundreds trashing it with shopping carts, drugs, needles, garbage and worst of all, starting fires. 

It seems that every other month there is a massive blaze in Woodley Park, illegal cookouts or arson or just exploding propane tanks, and now the park is an ashen graveyard of nature, just black fields where tall grasses once thrived.

Why is it “humane” to allow vagrancy, disorder, disrespect and abuse of our parks, our streets and our environment?  We thought we had seen the worse of this city and nation in 2020, but if you want to feel even more gloom, take a saunter over to Woodley Park and witness for yourself the broken fences, the depleted environment, and the still evident trash camps of tents, shopping carts, stolen bikes and litter along Burbank Boulevard.

And ask yourself what competent and worthy leader would permit his city to become so degraded that even a simple park is too embarrassing to look at?

3 thoughts on “Woodley Park, R.I.P.

  1. That’s a goddamm shame. My son and I used to go go bird watching and fly our kites over there all the time. It was the one decent place in that whole rotten valley of strip clubs, porn studios, and pot dispensaries.


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