Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Audubon Center and Debs Park

Nestled across the 110 from the Southwest Museum in Highland Park, the Audubon Center and Debs Park abounds with pleasant surprises.

I first heard about the Audubon Center in connection to their Platinum LEED rating, meaning they achieved the highest possible level for green buildings. And, they were the first in the nation to earn that honor. I had to go check it out, and I was blown away by all the Center and the Park had to offer.

Debs Park has about a dozen trails, all of which I plan to hike. On my first visit, the Butterfly Loop led to a mental vacation from LA! Imagining the traffic zooming down the freeway was flowing water, then spotting the hawk flying overhead, and I was definitely not in the city anymore.

The Center's Sustainable Technology signage details the design, systems and material selections "to make the gentlest impact" on the environment. The nugget that amazes me is the wealth of resources loaned to park visitors. As shown in the photo, you can borrow baby carriers, binoculars, art supplies, and guide books to make the most of the visit. They even have trail strollers available.

Another surprise was the free Tai Chi classes Sunday morning. I'll see you there, near the lily pond or out on the trails, for as Henry David Thoreau said (as does a sign by the entrance) "We can never have enough of nature."

Click here to go to their Web site.

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