Parks Foundation works to improve Robert Burns trail

| October 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

PARKS FOUNDATION Executive Director Carolyn Ramsay walks the future trail in Robert Burns Park.

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.

Resident support
According to Ramsay, the project was made possible after Windsor Square resident Carrie Clifford read an article last December on the good work being done by the Parks Foundation Forest Initiative. Clifford immediately contacted Ramsay to find out how she could support a project at her local park.

“A few years ago, we moved to the neighborhood from West Hollywood, where they have been revamping all of the parks. When we got here, I was surprised there wasn’t a better park in the Larchmont area,” Clifford told us on the phone last month.

“After learning about the Parks Foundation, I thought, this is how we could raise money and make improvements at Robert Burns,” continued Clifford, noting that the swing set and fences are decades old. “It is a lovely park, but it feels like it is a park that the city has forgot.”

Ramsay said that she worked with Clifford to identify the best way to make an impact, agreeing that the Clifford Family Foundation should “adopt” the park with funding for a new walking path.

“We kicked around some great ideas, and landed on this project. I think everyone is happy,” said Ramsay.

Still, Clifford told us that she is already thinking about potential future projects at the park and how to encourage other local residents to support Robert Burns.

“For instance, there is no equipment for kids-over-six. What are they supposed to do? It would be nice to add something for them to enjoy,” said Clifford. “We need a better park.”

Clifford said she is talking with Ramsay about ways to incentivize donations for the park, including a donation-match for a future project.

Forest Initiative
That’s not the only improvement to come to Robert Burns. In recent weeks, four new Coast Live Oak trees have been planted as part of the Parks Foundation Forest Initiative.

In fact, it was local resident Randy Paskal, a Parks Foundation board member, who sponsored those trees.

“We launched the Forest Initiative in 2020 to address climate change and combat a significant tree loss throughout Southern California due to infestations and disease.

“It’s staggering. Some of our favorite species, like the liquid amber and sycamores, are threatened,” said Ramsay.

The Forest Initiative was developed in 2019 — with the hope of planting thousands of new trees across the city — and the first “mini-forest” was ready to be installed on March 16, 2020. “Unfortunately, we had to close our office on March 13 due to COVID-19,” said Ramsay.

After months of delay, the first Forest Initiative project was finally installed within Mar Vista Park in September 2020.
“That was a very joyous event,” recalled Ramsay.

Since then, the work has continued at a fast pace with the Parks Foundation having installed seven “Park Forests” across the city.

Not to miss the action, the Parks Foundation teamed up with the Hancock Park Garden Club last June to plant in Griffith Park a 1,000-square-foot circular micro forest, using the Miyawaki Method, a reforestation approach of densely planting native trees. The Garden Club sponsored the project, and volunteers organized by the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens made the installation possible; the Parks Foundation will maintain the garden for two years until adaptation. [See the story in the June, 2021 Larchmont Chronicle.]

While discussing the various projects in the works at the Parks Foundation, it’s clear that Ramsay is both sober about the challenges ahead and energized by the city’s progress, thanks, in part, to the support of its residents:

“The City of Los Angeles, in the 30 years that I’ve lived here, has become much greener,” she says, noting that more than 50 parks have been created in that time. “It’s a big move in the right direction.”

Do you want to sponsor a project? Ramsay has some ideas.

Visit for more information.

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