L.A.’s New State Historic Park Is Both a Miracle and a Missed Opportunity

To Fix It, We Need Big Donors. More Trees Would Be Nice, Too.

Riddle: When is a miracle also bound to be a disappointment?

Answer: When the miracle is a project of the state of California.

A case in point is the recent opening of the Los Angeles State Historic Park, an event that contains many miracles.

Miracle one: It’s a large (32 acres) park—with broad grassy fields large enough to fly a kite or hold a big concert, buildings with community meeting space, and a signature bridge with selfie-ready views of the downtown skyline—in the densely crowded center of park-poor Los Angeles. Miracle …

How Playing in the Park After Dark Unifies South L.A.

Summer Night Lights Reclaimed Public Space From Gangs and Started a Beloved Community Tradition

This summer, 32 parks around Los Angeles—many located in South L.A.—will stay open until 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

This is Summer Night Lights, one of L.A.’s most popular …

How South L.A.’s Parks Help Men Heal

The Region Is Slowly Getting More of the Green Spaces and Gardens It Needs

“Hey man, did you ever just lay in the grass and look at a cloud pass?” said Marlon, a physically fit, 30ish African-American man. He was in South L.A.’s Martin …

California Wants to Improve Its Golf Game

The Leisure Sport’s Subpar Performance Prompts the State to Rethink How It Uses Its Greens

Your columnist is not an Olympic athlete. But last Friday I managed a serious athletic feat: playing 18 holes of golf in just 45 minutes, without using a cart or …

Why We Need More Latinos to Hit the Trails

State and National Parks Won't Survive Unless a Diverse Cross Section of Americans Steps Up to Protect Them

During my more than 30-year career as a California state park ranger, I was known as the diversity guy because I was one of the few Latinos to wear the …

Do Beautiful Parks Strengthen Democracy?

To Frederick Law Olmsted, Designer of Many of America’s Most Iconic Landscapes, Common Spaces Are Key to Getting Beyond Our Own Narrow Individualism

In 1846, shortly after his 24th birthday, Frederick Law Olmsted wrote to a friend, full of dismay about the prospect of finding a purpose in life. “I want to make …