JUN 20, 2023
LOS ANGELES PARKS FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
For Immediate Release
The Los Angeles Parks Foundation, created in 2008 as a California not-for-profit, to enhance, expand, preserve, and promote public recreation, parks, and open space for the diverse people of Los Angeles, has selected Anthony “Tony” Budrovich as its next Executive Director. Mr. Budrovich begins his new role on June 20th.
Mr. Budrovich has had a distinguished career as a non-profit and amusement park executive, most recently spending eight years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Catalina Island Conservancy, where he oversaw a staff of 110. During his tenure, he increased visitor attendance from 23,500 to 240,000 annually and grew the annual budget from $9.3M in 2015 to $15.6M in 2023.
Prior to the Catalina Island Conservancy, Mr. Budrovich was the Deputy Director and Senior Vice President, Operations of the California Science Center. Among his notable achievements, he was responsible for the construction, opening and display of the ($7M) Space Shuttle Endeavor exhibit.
Budrovich said, “I am honored and excited to join the distinguished Board of Directors, passionate staff, and financial supporters of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation. As a person who grew up in LA parks, my love of parks, open spaces and conservation motivates me as the new Executive Director. Parks are a valued recreational resource to escape and recharge from a busy world. I look forward to working closely with the community and city to enhance, envision and promote our more than 450 parks.”
Budrovich succeeds Carolyn Ramsay, who has served as the Executive Director since 2018. Ramsay succeeded founding Executive Director, Judith Kieffer. Ramsay is retiring and moving to New York City after more than 30 years as an L.A. resident. The Los Angeles Business Journal recently named her its Nonprofit Executive of the Year among Mid-sized Organizations.
“I am proud to have served as executive director of the foundation for the past five years, to have raised more than $12.5 million for direct improvements to city parks, to have launched the Park Forest initiative and planted 24 forests in parks throughout the city and to have kept the organization strong through the COVID19 pandemic,” said Executive Director Carolyn Ramsay. “I am now thrilled to welcome Tony as our next leader and am confident that he will ensure that the organization continues to grow and thrive.”
The Los Angeles Parks Foundation enlisted search firm Berkhemer Clayton to find Ramsay’s replacement. Foundation Board Chair David Nickoll said, “We were encouraged by the breadth and depth of the candidates who applied to join our organization. Mr. Budrovich distinguished himself as a strong, experienced leader who can help us increase our fundraising and mentor our talented, young staff. We will miss Carolyn greatly, but we are grateful for her successful tenure as well as her role in helping us find an accomplished successor who will help us grow the organization.”
The Los Angeles Parks Foundation was founded by Barry Sanders and has raised over $46M to support L.A. City Parks. Mr. Budrovich is only the third Parks Foundation Executive Director during its existence.
JAN 9, 2023
Larchmont Buzz: New Griffith Park Forest Dedicated to Tom LaBonge
On Saturday, January 7, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation dedicated the new Tom LaBonge Memorial Park Forest, a native plant landscape area atop Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, in honor of the former City Councilmember, who passed away exactly two years earlier, on January 7, 2021.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project – an installation of 200 native plants and 17 unique species – was attended by a large gathering of LaBonge’s extended family, friends, and co-workers, most of whom hiked the seasonally verdant 1.25-mile trail to the summit location where LaBonge himself hiked almost every day.
Read more here: https://www.larchmontbuzz.com/featured-stories-larchmont-village/new-griffith-park-forest-dedicated-to-tom-labonge/
JUN 16, 2022
CBS LOS ANGELES: City Officials Plant Trees as Part of Barnsdall Park Olive Grove Restoration
In an effort to return Barnsdall Park and its once historic olive grove to its former glory, 40 olive trees were planted Thursday morning, joining the more than 450 like trees already planted in the area.
At one time, the olive grove housed more than 1,200 trees, and was used as a commercial orchard, prior to its purchase by Aline Barnsdall, an oil heiress and philanthropist.
"We're planting 40 Wilsonii olive trees today to fill in the gaps in the original olive grove that has been here since the 1890s. So this is a spectacular project for us, for the people of Los Angeles, and it's going to just provide so many benefits to Hollywood. We're right in the middle of a very dense urban area and these trees are going to be a benefit for generations to come," said Carolyn Ramsay, the Director of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation.
Read Full Story: City officials plant trees as part of Barnsdall Park olive grove restoration - CBS Los Angeles (cbsnews.com)
MAR 29, 2022
LA Weekly: The Hidden Franklin Canyon Orange Grove Moves Food Forward
In a hidden canyon in the heart of Beverly Hills, just a stone’s throw from where little Ronnie Howard skipped barefoot in the opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show
, one of L.A.’s oldest existing orange groves has provided 180,000 pounds of free produce to local service organizations since 2010.
The Los Angeles Parks Foundation
(LAPF) together with Food Forward
has begun the seasonal process of harvesting oranges from about 246 trees in the Franklin Canyon Orange Grove,
which will then be distributed to the community via local agencies and food banks, including MEND, Mutual Aid Action Los Angeles, Seeds of Hope, Project Angel Food, and North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry.
Read more here.
MAR 24, 2022
LA Times Today: How Micro Forests Combat Climate Change in LA
California’s latest climate assessment projects that heatwaves will become more intense, last longer and will happen more frequently in the years ahead.
From 1980 to 2000, there were an average of six annual extreme heat days in Los Angeles. By 2050, that number is predicted to increase to 22 days. This is just one of the many reasons the LA Parks Foundation recently launched the Park Forest Initiative.
It is aimed at installing micro forests throughout Los Angeles to combat the urban heat island effect, close the climate gap, and grow our urban canopy.
At a recent planting at Harbor Regional Park, crews planted 12 trees. Tree Surgeon Supervisor Leon Boroditsky explained how the trees will benefit the space.
“We have a large exercise area inside Harbor Regional Park. We would like to bring shade to the people using the equipment. Also, there are walkways that go through. We like to shade the walkways. That’s really important,” Boroditsky said.
Carolyn Ramsay, the executive director of the LA Parks Foundation, talked about the long-term goals the organization has for the micro forest program.
“We’ve installed eight forests in the first year and our goal is to plant 10 forests a year for the next 10 years. We actually stole the idea from Paris. They launched a micro forest initiative a few years ago, and I read about it and instantly vacuumed up all the information I could get on it. Then, we created and adapted our LA Park Forest Initiative to LA city parks,” Ramsay said.
Climate change was the key motivator for the initiative.
Read more here.
DEC 9, 2021
LA Daily News: Environment-Boosting ‘Microforest’ Takes Root in Pacoima
Creating a new “microforest,” the Los Angeles Parks Foundation planted 12 24-inch box trees — six Tipuana tipu trees and six Quercus lobata trees — at Devonshire Arleta Park in Pacoima on Tuesday, Dec. 7.
The installation was part of the foundation’s Park Forest Initiative, which adds small forests to city parks throughout L.A. to “combat the urban heat island effect, close the climate gap, and grow the urban canopy” according to a statement from the group.
Such mini-forests help offset carbon footprints, improve air quality, cool surface temperatures and educate the public about climate change, foundation officials said Tuesday.
The foundation has installed seven other micro park forests in the area. The group hopes to plant thousands more new trees citywide, including 10 park forests a year.
Read more here.
DEC 3, 2021
ChicagoNow: Los Angeles Parks Foundation to Plant "LA Park Forest" at Devonshire Arleta Park on Tuesday, December 7th
With the generous funding and support of Wells Fargo, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation (www.laparksfoundation.org
) will be planting twelve 24-inch box tress – six Tipuana tipu trees and six Quercus lobata trees – at LA’s Devonshire Arleta Park in Pacoima (14215 West Devonshire St., Pacoima, CA 91331) on Tuesday, December 7th at 8:30am.
The Devonshire Arleta Park Installation is part of the Los Angeles Park Foundation’s Park Forest initiative, which adds micro forests to city parks throughout Los Angeles to combat the urban heat island effect, close the climate gap, and grow the urban canopy. LA Parks Foundation’s Executive Director Carolyn Ramsay conceptualized the micro forests for LA Parks with the hope that it will inspire other cities throughout the U.S.A to take similar action. This activation is incredibly timely given the urgent need to combat the national heat crisis, especially given the disproportionate effects of heat on low-income communities.
The Devonshire Arleta Park planting follows on the heels of LA Parks Foundation’s installation of seven other micro park forests at Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights district, Lemon Grove Park in Hollywood, Mar Vista Recreation Center, the Miyiwaki Forest at Bette Davis Picnic Area, Robert Burns Park Forest, 29 Canary Island Pines in Griffith Park, and Ross Snyder Recreation Center in South LA.
Read more here.
NOV 16, 2021
Larchmont Buzz: Native Micro-Forest at Griffith Park Appears Promising
On Saturday we visited the newest addition to Griffith Park, a native micro-forest at the Bette Davis Picnic area. While the park just celebrated its 125th anniversary
this past weekend, the micro-forest is just three months old and already it’s showing promising signs, according to LA Parks Foundation
Executive Director Carolyn Ramsay, whose organization planted the experimental forest using dense planting known as the Miyawaki Method
. The practice has proved successful in tropical environments, but this is the first test of native plants in a Mediterranean climate. The planting was funded by the Los Angeles Parks Foundation with a grant from the Hancock Park Garden Club.
The Miyawaki Method of afforestation involves using strictly local, indigenous species and planting them very densely, with various layers of vegetation (e.g. understory, shrub, tree, and overstory trees) planted side by side to provide a thick, impenetrable quality over time. The resulting self-managing forest is said to require zero maintenance after two years and will be a treasure for local wildlife, children, students and the landscape design community. Currently, the plants are being watered but the hope is to gradually wean them off any additional irrigation.
Read more here.
OCT 29, 2021
Wunderman Thompson: Insights - Microforests
A rising focus on urban biodiversity sees communities around the world planting native forests in public spaces, uniting people behind the planet’s wellbeing. Bringing nature to urban areas, these mini forests are rewilding cities and providing cooperative places for interaction.
Microforests popped up in L.A.’s urban parks in October 2021 as part of the L.A. Park Forest Initiative by the Los Angeles Parks Foundation
. Mature trees, including tipa and blue jacaranda, were strategically selected and planted due to their ability to withstand intense, warmer temperatures in the area. These trees are currently providing lush shade in urban neighborhoods, including Lemon Grove Park, Mar Vista Recreation Center, Robert Burns Park, and Ross Snyder Recreation Area.
Read more here.
OCT 28, 2021
Larchmont Chronicle: Parks Foundation works to improve Robert Burns trail
The Los Angeles Parks Foundation
soon will begin work on an improvement project within Robert Burns Park
, thanks, in part, to the generous support of a local resident.
“We are thrilled to do this project,” said Parks Foundation Executive Director (and Windsor Square resident) Carolyn Ramsay last month as she gave the Chronicle a preview of the project to come. “We just got approval from the Commission last week, so we hope to start work on the project soon,” she explained.
In October, the city’s Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners approved the project, which will consist of the refurbishment and renovation of a walking trail around the perimeter of the park. The proposal, valued at $50,000, was accepted as a donation to the city from the Parks Foundation.
Project details include the removal of landscape edging around the existing walkway, installation of more than 1,000 linear feet of permanent concrete mow-curb to be flush with the ground, and the installation of a decomposed granite walkway surface material.
Read more here.
OCT 7, 2021
LA Times: Where to find L.A.’s newest micro forests
How many trees does it take to make a forest? Not as many as you’d think at L.A.'s newest micro forests.
On September 30th, 20 trees — including Brisbane box, Tipa, and Blue Jacaranda — were planted in a corner of Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights. These were no little saplings; trees 6 to 7 feet tall were planted to instantly provide a leafy shade canopy in a neighborhood where little shade exists.
The L.A. Park Forest Initiative
, as it’s called, “was really inspired by the fact that so many of our parks desperately need more trees, especially the ones that are around the urban core of downtown,” said Carolyn Ramsay, executive director of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation.
Read more here.
SEP 30, 2021
LAist: Boyle Heights' Hollenbeck Park Gets A Forest Of New Trees
Hollenbeck Park is a beautiful place for people in Boyle Heights to enjoy nature, but it's lost a bunch of its trees to disease lately. In response, L.A. planted 20 Jacaranda, Tipuana Tipu
and Brisbane Box trees at the park Thursday
in partnership with the nonprofit Los Angeles Parks Foundation.
The trees will help alleviate pollution from the neighboring 5 freeway, said Carolyn Ramsay, the foundation's executive director.
"We're planting the trees along the freeway side of the park to reduce the pollution and exhaust from all the cars and trucks that go by, but also reduce the noise and provide a habitat for the wildlife that live here," she said.
Read more here.
SEP 24, 2019
LA Magazine: 8 Fall Festivals in L.A. That Are Sure to Put You in a Gourd Mood
Breathe in some not-quite-crisp fall air at Griffith Park’s annual fall extravaganza, which has a beer garden for adults, a kids zone for children, and lots of food trucks and live music, including legit Bavarian polka purveyors, Hammerstein Band. The day of fun culminates in an outdoor, after-dark screening of Disney-Pixar’s heartstring tugger, Coco
. Read more here.
APR 1, 2019
OC Register: Steve Ballmer, Clippers fixing L.A.’s neighborhood basketball courts
“This is so far and away the largest corporate donation to the city in many, many years, and certainly to the Rec and Parks Department altogether,” said Judith Kieffer, co-founder, special projects for the L.A. Parks Foundation, which is coordinating the multi-stage projects around the busy schedules at each community center, from Van Nuys to Sunland to South L.A. “And it’s been seamless working with the Clippers,” Kieffer added. “They knew their niche – its basketball, obviously – and we have all the public facilities in the city, so why not? Let’s make a match.” Read more here.
NOV 4, 2018
NBC: Frolic at a Free Harvest Festival at Griffith Park
No news flash is required for what we're about to reveal next, however: November is still a month that sits squarely within autumn, at least in this hemisphere, and it, too, can possess harvest-y pleasures. And one such good time is going to pop up, for free, near the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, on Crystal Springs Drive, on Sunday, Nov. 4. So cheers to you, dear Harvest Festival at Griffith Park, as you enter your second annual go-around. Read more here.