Glendale is blessed with an abundance of nature. Few cities can boast open spaces like Brand Park, Deukmejian Wilderness or the trails crisscrossing the Verdugo and San Rafael Mountains. I am lucky to live just a few blocks from bucolic Verdugo Park. 

But our larger open spaces are all in North Glendale—out of easy reach from the homes of most Glendale residents, who are left primarily with little “pocket parks” and the inadequate open space provided as part of new developments.  We need to right this imbalance by investing most of our park dollars in South Glendale. If we do that, and if we revive plans shelved by City Council for a “cap park” over the 134 Freeway and work with regional partners to design an urban greenway along the Verdugo Wash, we can meet a goal of a park within a 10-minute walk of every Glendale resident and enhance the quality of life for all Glendalians.

We also need to significantly increase our urban tree canopy, especially in South Glendale but elsewhere too. Trees not only the reduce urban heat effect, they clean the air, muffle traffic noise, reduce stress, and encourage walking—which itself has huge environmental and health benefits.  

Natural beauty and healthy living are what drew many of us to Glendale in the first place. Let’s work to make Glendale an even more welcoming place to call home.