Southern California environment news and trends

Take a hike: June 2 is National Trails Day

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Jason Redmond/AP

With weather services predicting a sunny and temperate weekend in Southern California, it’s shaping up to be an ideal setting for this year’s National Trails Day on Saturday, June 2.

The annual “celebration of trails” was launched back in 1993 as the result of President Reagan's 1987 President's Commission on Americans Outdoors; the report touted “that all Americans be able to go out their front doors and within fifteen minutes, be on trails that wind through their cities or towns and bring them back without retracing steps,” according to the National Trail Day website. As a result, the American Hiking Society and a circle of private and public organizations came together to create the yearly occasion.

“We just want all Americans to get out on their local trails,” said John Michaels from the American Hiking Society’s office by phone of National Trail Day’s primary objective. “We want people to discover and celebrate everything this country’s trails have to offer.”


The battle heats up over billboards in Los Angeles city parks

Welcome to the battle over billboards in Los Angeles city parks.

Could our city parks really be filled with dazzling billboards and distracting advertisements crowding park benches, picnic tables, and fence space? A law exists against using public space for signage. However, citing cutbacks, the Parks and Recreation Commission is looking into ways for corporations to “donate” money in exchange for advertising space in the city parks. In fact, some have accused the city of actually selling public space to advertisers.

Last year, the city almost allowed super graphics from Warner Brothers 3-D movie “Yogi Bear” to populate “fences, shelters, picnic tables, trash cans, light standards, walkways, and other structures in Holmby Park, Pan Pacific Rec Center, and Lake Balboa Park.” After a public outcry, the plan was delayed and ultimately canned after the movie's premiere date passed.