The 2021 monument committee led by James Okazaki and Nancy Takayama will focus on the best placement of the plaque, benches, and interpretation on the one acre site.
Wording was developed by Dr. Russell Endo, Dr. J.P. DeGuzman, H. Ernie Nishii and approved by the board of directors.
Only the Oaks Remain Plaque
The beauty of this oak grove belies a tragic history. At the beginning of World War II, the U.S. Department of Justice turned Civilian Conservation Corps Camp P-223 into the Tuna Canyon Detention Station by enclosing it with barbed wire and posting armed guards. From December 1941 to October 1943, Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants, Japanese taken from Peru, and others were imprisoned here in violation of their civil liberties. On June 25, 2013, the Los Angeles City Council designated this site as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. The oaks, as witnesses to history, compel us to learn from our nation’s mistakes and stand strong against prejudice, war hysteria, and injustice.
What the VHGC Could Become…
The Verdugo Hills Golf Course and Regional Park concept plan is just that—-a concept of what could be if the public agencies can see their way to saving this jewel for present and future generations.
The plan follows Audubon International’s Signature plan for sustainable golf courses that promotes ecologically sound land management and the conservation of natural resources. The result is less pesticide and fertilizer use, infiltration of runoff water and rainfall, storage and re-use of runoff water, promotion of wildlife habitats, and aquifer recharge.
On first glance of the plan, one notices ponds or bodies of water. Those are only re-graded depressions that allow for storm water runoff to be collected and allowed to seep into the ground rather than immediately channeling into the storm drains. Before the water gets to these ponds, the runoff must pass through the “rougher” spaces between fairways. This “filtering” allows for infiltration as well as cleansing of the water prior to seepage and infiltration.
The “Storm Water Retention Pond” is similar to the concept now working at Marsh Park in Los Angeles where storm water runoff is caught in the graded depression and has a chance to “cleanse” and filter before it finds it’s way to the LA River and out to sea. In this case, the excess water that is not caught at the golf course would end up here combined with the water from the Blanchard Canyon drainage channel that borders the property. We are proposing that LA County consider “laying back” the drainage channel as has been done successfully in other cities to allow for a more natural riparian environment.
Next to the drainage channel there is a proposed river walk that combined with the existing maintenance trail makes a complete loop around the golf course in excess of one mile. This “Tuna Camp Loop Trail” would be perfect for joggers, walkers and casual mountain bikers. Joining the Loop Trail is another spur hiking trail that leads to the Wiqanga Lookout (Wiqanga was the Tongva Indian Village that existed in this area) that provides a stunning view of the Crescenta Valley.
The Wiqanga Lookout Trail leads back to a half acre flat area or “River Park” that would be a passive park with potential play structures and accessed by a pedestrian bridge across the Blanchard Canyon drainage.
Across the channel is enough space for as many as six tennis courts with the necessary parking. Amongst the many needs of park facilities in this area, tennis courts has been mentioned numerous times.
The red boxes shown on the plan are suggested as possible expansions of facility space. With some reconfiguring of tee boxes, the possibilities are an expansion of the existing clubhouse, the addition of a rental hall or pavilion and across the street, another potential for a community center or other such facility.
We also are proposing an expansion of the existing parking lot as well as subsurface cistern storage for runoff capture and later re-use. None of the concept plans for any destruction of the mature trees on the site but tries to take into account their existence and continued survival. This plan is a concept drawing only but offers vision into the potential of this jewel like 63 acre golf course.