Imagine a 600,000-acre national recreation area-about three times the size of New York City-that extends from the San Gabriel Mountains to most of the San Gabriel River watershed. Such a national recreation area would bring more parkland into Los Angeles' urban backyard. It also would help revitalize the San Gabriel River and reconnect Southland residents to this significant waterway.
San Gabriel Mountains Forever is working diligently to realize this vision.
Lack of Forest Services, Urban Parks Highlight Need
The Angeles National Forest is one of the busiest in the country, with more than 3 million visitors each year. Yet it is woefully underfunded and underserviced. The forest lacks adequate trail signs, visitor information, staffing, and culturally-appropriate education programs. At popular destinations, there are not enough parking spaces, riverbank trails, trash containers, or restrooms.
Within Los Angeles' urban communities, the shortage of parks and open space is shortchanging our children. Today's young people have fewer opportunities to be physically active and connect with nature. Data shows that San Gabriel Valley communities with little to no parks have child obesity rates upwards of 30 to 40 percent.
A Catalyst for Healthy Recreational Opportunities
The creation of a National Recreation Area would bring much needed attention and resources to improve recreational opportunities for Southland residents. It would help:
San Gabriel Mountains Forever is working with the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service to define what the national recreation area would look like. To develop a vision for a national recreation area, the National Park Service (NPS) has conducted a San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Special Resource Study .
Before it completes its final recommendations to Congress, the NPS is weighing four alternative visions for the future of the San Gabriel Mountains and San Gabriel Valley watershed communities. The San Gabriel Mountains Forever partnership is also working to build grassroots support for the Congressional legislation that is required to realize this dream.
Click here  to see the comments we submitted to the National Park Service in favor of the Study's Alternative D.