If you're stuck in L.A. and yearn for the great outdoors, never fear: there's a new way to take a break from the city.
It's called Gateway to Nature.
The new spot is located near the city's historic center of Olvera Street and opens this weekend. The market, classroom and cultural site is designed to give urban dwellers a taste for the outdoors and learn more about our surrounding mountains, forests and rivers.
"The mission of this center was really to get Angelenos to go out," said Jilly Canizares, Los Angeles Operations Manager with the Western National Parks Center, Los Angeles, during a tour of the Center. "We really wanted to replicate the experience of being out in nature."
The project is spearheaded by the Western National Parks Association in partnership with the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, and the City of Los Angeles.
There's a large map of the city's nature spots on one wall, with distance and commute times, and crafts from local Native American artists. It's especially designed to get more urban youth excited about getting out into nature, with craft tables for children and bird calls playing through speakers in the background.
"We need to put wheels under the forest and the park and bring it to the city, bring it to the people," said Jeff Vail, forest supervisor with the Angeles National Forest. "To remind folks that these public lands, these open spaces, these natural experiences are available and within easy reach."
What: Gateway To Nature Center
Where: 130 Paseo de La Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012
When: Opening to the public on Friday, December 9, 2016.
More info: Regular Hours: 9:30am-6pm. Free admission.