Bee Canyon and O'Melveny Park
What We Did
Provide expansive green space in one of America’s largest cities—our first-ever land protection project.
Ensure Angelenos have access to a quality parks so they can connect with the outdoors and each other.
John O’Melveny once said, “I want to be remembered as working at my office, roping cattle, and judging bulldogs.” Despite that wish, his name is perhaps most associated with an eponymous Los Angeles park that figures largely in Trust for Public Land history.
In the organization’s early days, its cofounders received a call from an attorney for O’Melveny, who owned a large ranch on the north side of the San Fernando Valley. The attorney said that O’Melveny was doing some estate planning and wanted to protect his land, set in Bee Canyon, from future development—in fact, he wanted a park created on the property.
TPL cofounder Greg Archbald went to Los Angeles to work out a deal with O’Melveny’s attorneys and the city council. Ultimately, the land became part of 672-acre O’Melveny Park, L.A.’s second-largest municipal park. Set among rocky ledges, shrubland, grassy meadows, and citrus groves on the eastern end of the Santa Susana Mountains, the Bee Canyon acquisition, completed in 1973, is considered TPL’s first project.
It’s also a longstanding testament to TPL’s vision to bring nature to urban residents. It led to dozens of new green spaces in park-deprived neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles—and, eventually, California and beyond, to urban, suburban, and rural areas across the country.
At 2,000 feet, the view from O’Melveny Park stretches from the clay rooftops of Grenada Hills to the hazy outline of downtown Los Angeles. It provides nature lovers with a different perspective on the city and will forever exemplify our cofounders’ novel idea to marry land conservation and public accessibility.
135 West Green Street
Pasadena, CA, 91105
1107 9th Street
Sacramento, CA, 95814
23 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA, 94108