Earth Day is credited with becoming a national event because of an oil spill that happened off the coast of Santa Barbara. Decades have past and the movement have picked up momentum. Click here for other Earth Day and Eco-related events happening throughout the San Fernando Valley and LA.

Parks around SFV

If you simply want to enjoy this weekend and maybe have a nice picnic in the sunny weather, then we’ve selected some of the best parks in the San Fernando Valley area.

Burbank

Lincoln Park

300 North Buena Vista St

Burbank 91505

818.238.5300

Great for toddlers, Lincoln Park features a shaded and enclosed playground—and there is lots of sand to play in! There is also plenty of grass, and a branch library is right here.

McCambridge Park

1515 N Glenoaks Blvd

Burbank 91504

818.238.5381

With a new playground and shade structure from 2013, lots of grass, and picnic tables, McCambridge Park is a great place for a family fun. The playground is partly fenced, and the park also has a gym, tennis courts, and a pool.

Glendale

Lower Scholl Canyon Park

2849 E Glenoaks Blvd

Glendale 91206

818.548.2184

This neighborhood park has BBQ pits, picnic areas, lots of grass, mature trees, and of course a play area. Bounce houses are OK with a permit, and tables must be reserved—there are also grouped tables under ramadas. Located on a dead-end street tucked against the hills in a residential neighborhood, this is a great place to escape the city.

Verdugo Park

1621 Canada Blvd

Glendale 91208

818.548.2184

Verdugo is Glendale’s largest city park. There are also 12 BBQ pits, lots of mature trees, plenty of grass, a kid’s play area, and a skate park. Bounce houses are fine with a permit.

Los Angeles

Anthony C Beilenson Park (formerly Balboa Park)

6300 Balboa Blvd

Van Nuys 91406

818.756.9743

Barbecue pits and a large children’s play structure—plus bathrooms and Lake Balboa right by the structure—make this park a winner. You can also fish or rent pedal boats, but there is no swimming. Covered picnic pavilions can be reserved, and bounce houses are allowed (use a preapproved vendor to make it easy). This park is also very popular and crowded, so be sure you have plenty of adults to watch the kids.

Dearborn Park

17141 Nordhoff St

Northridge 91325

818.363.3556

With recently upgraded accessible playground structures, mature trees, lots of grass, and sand to play in, Dearborn Park is lots of fun. There are also plenty of picnic tables and benches. The playground is not fenced.

Panorama Recreation Center

8600 Hazeltine Ave

Panorama City 91412

818.893.3401

Kids play area with some shade, mature trees, picnic tables, BBQs, and a kid’s splash pad! Water play is on during the summer only, approximately mid-June to mid-August. If planning a summer party, call to confirm if it will be on.

Serrania Park

20865 Wells Dr

Woodland Hills 91364

818.883.9370

Serrania Park has a fenced playground with shade cloths, lots of grass for playing, a hiking trail with views, picnic tables, benches, and mature trees. And, it’s not on a busy street. Be aware that this park is very popular with local dog owners.

Travel Town

5200 Zoo Dr

Los Angeles 90027

323.662.5874

Travel Town charges no admission—and thus can be a low-cost low-key option for a destination party. There are several options for parties that will affect your cost: you can rent a covered picnic area or an entire train car. You can also add a Thomas or Chuggington mat, track, and cars and engines for your guests to play with. There is the train ride (extra cost), and the indoor museum (no cost) and restored train cars and engines (no cost). There is also plenty of grass for the kids to play on.

Valley Glen Community Park

6150 Atoll Ave

Van Nuys 91436

818.756.8188

This neighborhood park has undergone a major upgrade recently. A new, fully fenced playground has shade cloths, and there is a new jogging/walking path around the park. There is still plenty of grass for a game of soccer, red light green light, or free play. Picnic tables are being replaced, and additional improvements are in the works.

Volunteering

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to devote your time to a good cause and help others? Check out these several non-profits this weekend, and I’m sure you’ll love spending your free time with them from now on.

Heal the Bay

What they do: Heal the Bay is dedicated to keeping SoCal coastal waters and watersheds as safe, healthy and clean as possible. They raise awareness of growing threats to our vital marine environment such as urban and stormwater runoff, plastic pollution and over-fishing. They also organize community action programs throughout the area.

How to help: HtB offer a wide variety of volunteer options that range from low to high time commitments. Services include opportunities like beach cleanups, ambassadorships to promote awareness and office support (a position of often vital importance to any non-profit).

Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR)

What they do: The main mission of FOLAR is to “protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River.” They do so through various initiatives that include education, promoting sustainable development and reforesting and re-vegetating the river’s watershed.

How to help: There are occasional activities and opportunities available like their Great Los Angeles River Clean Up. Thousands of volunteers show up to this annual “work party” and get to enjoy live music and fun activities.

TreePeople

What they do: TreePeople focuses on the planting and caring of (you guessed it) trees and educating city dwellers about the importance of said trees to the future of Los Angeles. The non-profit works hard under the knowledge that trees combat climate change, prevent water pollution and increase our overall quality of life.

How to help: TreePeople offers tons of volunteer opportunities here ranging from planting trees in urban areas to mountain forestry, where volunteers work to restore damaged forests and ecosystems to aid in wildfire prevention.

Grades of Green

What they do: The goal of Grades of Green is simple and powerful: Instill a knowledge of environmental awareness and caring for the planet in children. Since kids are the future, making sure they know the importance of sustainability is one of our best bets at keeping the planet healthy. The organization partners with 292 schools across 38 states to empower students with knowledge and skills of a low-impact lifestyle.

How to help: There are many initiatives and activities for volunteers to be a part of, like Trash Free Tuesday and Walk to School Wednesday, that are geared towards introducing a lifestyle of environmental consciousness in children.

Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust

What they do: The LA Neighborhood Land Trust creates urban parks and gardens in underserved neighborhoods across Los Angeles. The work they do builds community while giving people access to green spaces and fresh produce where they may otherwise be unavailable.

How to help: The Trust offers a number of way to volunteer, whether you want to get your hands dirty in the garden or help get the community involved.


If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.

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