Franklin Canyon Park

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Franklin Canyon Park
PondFranCanyon.jpg
Franklin Lake
Type Urban park
Location Unincorporated area abutting Beverly Hills Post Office, Beverly Hills, and the city of Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34.1031°N 118.4122°W / 34.1031°N 118.4122°W / 34.1031; -118.4122 (Franklin Canyon Park)Coordinates: 34.1031°N 118.4122°W / 34.1031°N 118.4122°W / 34.1031; -118.4122 (Franklin Canyon Park)
Area 3 acres (1.2 ha)
Created 1981
Operated by Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Open All year

Franklin Canyon Park is a public park located near Benedict Canyon at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. The park comprises 605 acres (2.45 km2), and is located at the purported geographical center of the city of Los Angeles.[1] The park features a 3-acre (12,000 m2) lake, a duck pond and over five miles (8 km) of hiking trails. The lake and pond are visited by birds in the Pacific Flyway. The park was used for the hitchhiking scene in It Happened One Night, and the opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show. The lake was also frequently seen in the Nickelodeon show Salute Your Shorts.

Hastain Trail sign in Franklin Canyon Park, Los Angeles, California
Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park, Los Angeles, California
Heavenly Pond in Franklin Canyon Park, Los Angeles, California

History[edit]

The park traces its beginnings to 1914 when William Mulholland and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power built a reservoir in upper Franklin Canyon. The canyon was used by the family of oil baron Edward L. Doheny as a summer retreat. The 1930s began the frequent use of the canyon for filming. Claudette Colbert's famous hitchhiking scene from It Happened One Night was filmed in 1935. Today about 25 films are shot here annually. During the 1970s the canyon was spared from development through the efforts of conservationist Sooky Goldman and Congressman Howard Berman, which resulted in the creation of the park.[2]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Franklin Canyon is rich in plant life. Chaparral, shady grassland meadows and oak woodlands are found in the park.[2] Also within the park's boundaries are sycamore, redwood and walnut trees. A vast array of wildflowers grow here.[3]

The park is home to a variety of indigenous wildlife such as frogs, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, snakes, coyotes, and bobcats. Known as a bird watcher's delight, eagles, as many as seven species of hawk can be found here,[3][4][5][6] and even the great horned owl.[7] And of course there are the ducks, Mandains and Wood ducks. Franklin Canyon is part of the Pacific Flyway and as a result the resident bird species often share company with neo-tropical migrants and other unique species, such as Canada geese.

Activities[edit]

Map of Franklin Canyon Park

Popular activities are hiking, cycling, picnicking and bird watching. Park staff lead regularly scheduled hikes.[2][3] In spite of the famous lake, swimming and fishing are not permitted. The park conducts natural history programs at the Sooky Goldman Nature Center, and the William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom.[8]

Located directly adjacent to Franklin Park is the headquarters of the conservation organization TreePeople. TreePeople also offers organized hikes, as well as tree-care workshops and themed festivals.[4]

Stop sign cameras[edit]

In July, 2007, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) installed three stop sign cameras in the park. The cameras photograph on average 17 motorists per day. The cost of the citation is $175. A spokeswoman for MRCA said, "We have seen a significant reduction in the number of people running stop signs."[9] Former Beverly Hills city attorney Jack Allen opposes the cameras. He decried the alleged safety issue saying, "They're not speeding through there."[10] In September 2010 a class action lawsuit was filed against the MRCA.[11][12]

In the media[edit]

This is a partial list of media which have used Franklin Canyon Park:

Television[edit]

Andy Griffith and Ron Howard walking in Franklin Canyon, filmed on July 26, 1960.

Film[edit]

The characters portrayed by Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable attempt to hitchhike in It Happened One Night.

Music[edit]

The park has been used as a background for at least two album covers:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b De Turenne, Veronique (2003-11-27). "L.A.'s balancing point". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  2. ^ a b c "Franklin Canyon Park". Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Lethal, Donna (2008-04-09). "Workout Wednessday: Franklin Canyon". LAist.com. Gothamist LLC. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Randall, Laura (2006). 60 Hikes within 60 Miles. Menasha Ridge Press. pp. 27–28. ISBN 0-89732-707-1. 
  5. ^ a b c Wedner, Diane (2008-06-01). "Hiking into Hollywood's backyard". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  6. ^ a b Schenden, Laurie (2000-09-07). "The Hills Are Alive With Plenty to Do". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  7. ^ Kahlenberg, Richard (1998-11-13). "Looking and Listening". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  8. ^ "Nature and Discovery Centers". Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  9. ^ http://www.bhcourier.com/downloads/110510Fissue.pdf
  10. ^ Max Taves. "Stop-Sign Camera Illegal? Residents Weigh In". Palisadian Post. 
  11. ^ Sue Pascoe. "Lawsuit Filed over Stop-Sign Cameras". Palisadian Post. 
  12. ^ Sue Pascoe. "Judge's Ruling Aids Case Against MRCA's Stop-Sign Cameras". Palisadian Post. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Nelson, Valerie J (2002-04-04). "It's Seen a Lot of Action". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  14. ^ http://www.thegregbradyproject.com/category/ask-barry/page/37/

External links[edit]