On December 7, 2016 three agencies and the community came together for a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Hellman Park Trailhead Perimeter Fence and Gate. This was a joint project of the Habitat Authority, the City of Whittier, and the Los Angeles County Regional Parks and Open Space District.
At the August 22, 2013 Habitat Authority Board meeting approval was given to apply for and enter into agreements with the County of Los Angeles for funding in the amount of $600,000. The source of the funds is the Competitive Excess Funds from the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District for Fourth Supervisorial District (Los Angeles County Proposition A). Two grant agreements in the amount of $300,000 each were fully executed on June 4, 2014.
One of the projects from these grants was construction of a Hellman Park perimeter fence, and decorative entrance fence and gates. The goal of this project was to secure the Hellman Park Trailhead and thus, protecting the natural habitat, prohibiting illegal nighttime access, and adding to the safety of the daily trail user and surrounding community. This project involved tasks such as removing old dilapidated fencing that didn’t prevent illegal access, trimming vegetation, purchase and installation of approximately 1,910 linear feet of 8-foot high tubular steel fencing, and associated activities. The Habitat Authority and the City of Whittier collaborated on the design and installation of this project. While the Habitat Authority was the lead for project implementation, the City pledged to contribute $45,000 towards the project.
James Naish, the decorative wrought iron gate artist, used stainless steel, bronze and brass for flowers, lizards, insects and birds. Also, he fittingly placed cactus wrens on two panels just before the driveway.
This was a nice touch given the importance of this sensitive bird for the Hellman Park area. Ten percent of Los Angeles County’s cactus wren population is found in the Hellman Park area. The decorative element of this project creates a sense of place for visitors, and creates a feeling of entering a special natural area.