VIDEO: Exploring LA, Episode 1 – Stoneview Nature Center

By Etan Lerner, Staff Writer

Tucked within Baldwin Hills off South La Cienega Boulevard in Culver City lies the newest Los Angeles County park. Known as Stoneview Nature Center, the park is visitor-friendly yet also provides sustenance for various wildlife species.

An easy drive from Shalhevet or Beverlywood, the park is free and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
In this video, Park Superintendent Richard Smart explains how the park’s various wildflowers and different environments provide for all of the animals.

“This is a park designed to be a habitat for wildlife, so all the plants that we see here are designed to provide food, water, space and shelter for wildlife,” said Mr. Smart. “We have wildflower spaces, open grassy areas, and of course we also have some beautiful tall trees here – everything from different types of conifers, to some sycamores and even willow trees, and definitely different types of oak trees as well.”

Also on the video, a park volunteer named Paul describes his various tasks involved with volunteering at Stoneview.

And a park-goer named Lydia describes her enjoyment.

“This is my spiritual day coming here,” Lydia said, “because it’s delightful, it’s beautiful, it’s refreshing, it’s everything I need to make my day a wonderful day.”

According to Mr. Smart, the park was the site of Yeshivat Ohr Eliyahu from 1995 until 2010, when Ohr Eliyahu outgrew the site and moved to its current location at near 3rd Street and La Brea Avenue. Before that it was a Culver City public school, built in 1959.

After Ohr Eliyahu relocated, the site was empty until Los Angeles County acquired it.

Mr. Smart says that the success of the five-acre garden, which is connected via bridge to Kenneth Hahn State Park across La Cienega, stems from the vast array of wildflowers.

“We do have a good variety of wildlife here, but it’s all supported by those wildflowers,” Mr. Smart said.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the agency which owns Stoneview Nature Center. It is both owned and operated by Los Angeles County, and is not a county-run state park.