I am greatly dismayed that Joan House and Lou LaMonte would ever consider "giving away" 530 plus acres of Charmlee Wilderness Park for a few acres of Bluff’s Park.
Joe Edmiston tried to grab Charmlee just a few years ago to put camping up there as well as a 10,000 square foot nature center and ranger quarters and much more! Thankfully the city council came to the rescue and saved Charmlee Wilderness Park.
I just checked the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy website for their next meeting and they already had on their January 7, 2013 agenda the acquiring of Charmlee Park and putting campsites up there. They are really moving fast. If Malibu doesn’t keep ownership of Charmlee things will change and change fast and not for the better. This area is a gem in the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu should be proud to own this park. I don’t think House or LaMonte have any idea what has been going on up there for over 30 years! If they had done some research by asking the Malibu Park and Rec Department they would have had an earful.
We have had an ongoing volunteer docent program catering not only to the children of Malibu but our docent program supports over 2,000 plus inner city children per year to enjoy the beautiful nature of this incredible park. Many years ago the Charmlee Board of Directors secured private grant money that allows us, the Charmlee Nature Preserve Board of Directors, to pay for the school buses and bus drivers to visit Charmlee every Thursday during the school year. These schools are government subsidized Title 1 schools. They do not have any money for educational school trips. The approximate cost to get a bus and bus driver to bring the children to Charmlee runs around $500.00 and up per trip.
The impact of our programs have changed many of these children’s lives! Some have never seen the ocean! How sad is this! We also encourage the kids to bring their parents up to Charmlee for the full moon hikes. This gets the whole family involved.
Charmlee is also home to several endangered species both fauna and flora. The many miles of trails in this large park allow for many to be hiking in the park at one time and still feel like you are in the solitude of nature.
Once you have seen Charmlee in full bloom in the springtime you will never forget the beauty of this magnificent area.
Linda Joslynn, president of the Charmlee Wilderness Docents
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