6654136Woodland Hills, California

On the southwestern corner of the San Fernando Valley lies the city of Woodland Hills. The area quickly garnering a reputation as a family-friendly city, yet it has a lot to offer for inhabitants at any stage in life. It is nestled between the Santa Monica Mountains and to 101 freeway. Most people recognize it for the slower paced, quiet lifestyle, fantastic shopping, and an enthusiastic city council that sponsors many local events.  What might be lesser known is that it is a city chock full Native American history and boasts one of the highest per capita military veteran populations in the county.

Neighborhoods of Interest

Carlton Terrace
College Acres
South of the Blvd
Walnut Acres
Warner Park

Neighborhood Guide

The beginnings of the city started out similarly to so many other communities in the San Fernando Valley.  The Fernandeno and Chumash Native American tribes inhabited the area for over 8,000 years, settling areas including the Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Valley and Calabasas to the Los Angeles River, which includes what is now Woodland Hills. When the Spanish Portola Expedition came in 1769, to ‘settle’ the area they established missions. In 1797, the Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana was constituted. In 1869, Isaac Lankershim and Newton Van Nuys helped cultivate most of the valley.  The land was later bought by Harry Chandler, Hobart Whitley and Moses Sherman to convert to suburban homes in 1910.  This was the largest land transaction ever recorded.

Before this section could be built upon, Victor Girard Kleinberger took one look at the rolling hills and bought 2,886 acres in 1922 with the idea of forming his own idyllic ‘dream city’, in which he named Girard (and adopted the name Girard for himself at the same time). His Girard and Boulevard Land Company split the land into 6,000 lots, becoming one of the first to sell small lots to families instead of the 80 acre plots that had been the norm prior.   Girard was a very motivated man who unfortunately was known to use business practices that were less than scrupulous: creating a fake business district and buildings to make the land appear more developed.  To keep the creditors away he even attached liens on the properties without informing buyers.  Girard was very affluent and did his best to attract new residents to his city and soon the ads he placed paid off.  To beautify his new town he planted over 120,000 trees. Before Girard could become Woodland Hills though, the super community crumbled during the Great Depression.  Soon only 75 homeowners were left – yet somehow the town survived and adopted the moniker of Woodland Hills, named after the trees Girard had planted.

Public Schools:
Los Angeles Unified School District operates the public schools in Woodland Hills.
Elementary schools include:

  1. Calabash Street Elementary School
  2. Calvert Street Elementary School
  3. Chime Charter School (K-8 grade)
  4. Ingenium Charter School
  5. Ivy Academia Entrepreneurial Charter School
  6. Lockhurst Elementary School
  7. Serrania Elementary School
  8. Woodlake Avenue Elementary School
  9. Woodland Hills Elementary School

Middle schools include:

  1. Hale Middle School
  2. Woodland Hills Academy (formerly known as Parkman Middle School)

High schools include:

  1. El Camino Real High School
  2. Henry David Thoreau Continuation High School
  3. William Howard Taft High School

Private Schools:

  1. The Alexandria Academy
  2. Chaminade College Preparatory High School
  3. Crespi Carmelite High School
  4. Halsey Schools
  5. Louisville High School
  6. Pinecrest
  7. St. Bernardine of Siena
  8. St. Mel
  9. Woodland Hills Private School

Colleges and Universities:

  1. Los Angeles Pierce College
A prominent hub for the west San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills is not just a place many businesses call home, but also a great central location to live.  Westfield has not just one but three malls within walking distance that house shops, restaurants, movie theaters, and more.  If shopping is your game, ride your bike to grab coffee, or have stroll through high end department stores–all at your finger tips.  Perhaps one of the biggest draws, is just steps away at Warner Park.  From playgrounds to outdoor movies and concerts, Warner Park finds something for everyone.  Grab the lawn chairs and a blanket to watch the fireworks held every year for 4th of July.

If outdoor activities are more your style, check out the numerous hiking trails at neighboring Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area or Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve.  Head south on Topanga Canyon for a breathtaking trip to the beaches.  If you’re looking for something more suburban then perhaps you’ll find the Woodland Hills Recreations Center (Shoup Park) is a 19 acre gem. It has lots of features; a gym, auditorium, lit baseball diamond, outdoor basketball courts and play areas for the little ones. There is also a seasonal(unheated) pool available. On a day to day basis, Warner Center Park, also known as the Warner Ranch Park, is a classic park with picnic areas and play areas for the little ones. Warner Park is a hubbub of activity in the summer as it hosts a slew of outdoor concerts, movies on the green, and a giant fireworks show.  Serrania Park is another classic park with the benefit of hiking trails. It also has play areas for the little ones and picnic tables.

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