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The Gateway to Nature Center, located in the historic Hellman/Quon building, is designed to engage all audiences, with specific focus toward the 400,000 youth and school groups who frequent El Pueblo annually. The center explores the way in which nature is open to interpretation, inviting imagination, creativity, whimsy, and even mystery. It challenges traditional notions of outdoor exploration by highlighting unique ways people in Los Angeles engage with nature, in particular, their local parks, forests, and public lands. By expanding visitors’ perceptions, the center aims to educate and encourage new modes of park participation—but more importantly, spark moments of self-discovery, identification, and advocacy.
James E. Cook, WNPA’s Executive Director, said, “It is truly a pleasure to open the doors and see the visitors’ response to this exciting new space. We will be able to reach more people than ever and create new advocates for our parks and public lands.”
Chris Espinosa, General Manager of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument added, “The Gateway to Nature presents a unique opportunity to educate and connect our local youth to the great outdoors. Our surrounding public lands offer wonderful experiences for exercise, volunteerism, and family outings. El Pueblo Historical Monument is proud to host this environmental hub for learning and creating new life adventures.”
About Western National Parks Association
As a nonprofit education partner of the National Park Service, WNPA supports 71 park partners across the West, developing products, services, and programs that enrich the visitor experience. Since 1938 WNPA has worked to connect new generations to parks in meaningful ways, all with one simple goal: create advocates who want to preserve and protect these special places for everyone, for all time. To learn more, visit www.wnpa.org.
About the National Park Service
The National Park Service (NPS) preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the NPS for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The NPS cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world. www.nps.gov
About El Pueblo de Los Ángeles Historical Monument
El Pueblo de Los Ángeles Historical Monument is proud to be a partner and LA home to the new Gateway to Nature Center. This project will educate and bring information about the National Parks and US Forests to over 2 million people and 400,000 students that visit us each year. http://elpueblo.lacity.org/
About the USDA Forest Service
The USDA Forest Service is a multi-faceted agency that manages and protects 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 44 states and Puerto Rico. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service has the world’s largest forestry research organization. The Forest Service augments their work through partnerships with public and
private agencies that help plant trees, improve trails, educate the public, and improve conditions
in wildland/urban interfaces. www.fs.fed.us/
http://www.discovertheforest.org/ This site is called Discover the Forest – Reconnect your family with nature.
WNPA and Gateway to Nature helped celebrate LA’s birthday on August 27th! Here are some pictures:
Saturday, August 27, thousands of people turned out to celebrate the City of Los Angeles’ birthday in El Pueblo. That same day, WNPA offered a sneak preview into its Gateway to Nature visitor center. Thanks to our partners, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, El Pueblo Historical Monument, and the City of Los Angeles for making our sneak preview a huge success!