Canyon News

April Canyon Newsletter March 5, 2014 8:03 pm



This record drought that we find ourselves in has wreaked havoc in the mountains and forest areas with massive wildfires the likes of which have we have seldom seen.  Recently there was even a fire in the Palisades. With no end of drought-like conditions on the near horizon it is important for all of us to stay diligent in protecting our properties and the surrounding areas.

In addition to keeping brush clear on the hillsides and reducing dead wood around your property that could easily ignite, the LAPD Lead Officer for this area put out a notice recently asking people to be aware of the danger of potential fires due to active transient or homeless encampments in high fire risk brush areas.  They are typically seen near trail heads or while out hiking.  They ask that if you see such an encampment where you believe a fire could get out of hand to make note of the location as best you can.  If there is no address try to use approximate distance from a landmark or nearest street. Were there people there? Did you notice cooking or smoking? Why it appeared to be a fire threat.
Then call the Los Angeles Fire Marshall at 213-978-3570 or  They will come and investigate.  It may all be harmless and our hearts go out to those who are homeless but we all must work together to prevent these devastating wildfires.



The Rustic Canyon Park Advisory Board is a group of volunteers from the local community who advise and counsel the park administration. “Our mission is to help preserve the historic heritage of the park and to offer suggestions and programs on how to guide the park into the future.  Our aim is to offer creative programs in many areas including, artistic classes, athletic teams, children’s summer camps, pre-school care, and scholarship programs, which are offered to a diverse and vibrant community of all ages”.  At the helm are Steve Slavkin, Chairman,
Veslemoey Zwart, Vice-President, Kasi Dodge, Secretary and Jackie Koci, Recreation Coordinator.
The Board has been instrumental in initiating many improvements and additions to the park including raising funds to renovating  6 tennis courts, which has rejuvenated the tennis program.

They also spearheaded the summer Movies-In-The-Park program and last year started an Annual Rustic Night Dinner Party which raises money for the park and provides a venue for the inthe
canyon community to enjoy an evening of drinks, dinner, music and celebrity guests.

They are working to bring the very successful RustiCoffee Coffee In The Park back as a regular monthly event to the park.
The Park Advisory Board provides so many other valuable services to the park and the community as a whole including supporting The Grove renovations and replanting of the historic Grove.  They recently received a generous gift of a baby grand piano from Steve Galper and Berklee Hospitals which is now being used for music lessons and theatrical events.

Members of the community are always welcome to attend the Park Advisory Board meetings which are held the first Tuesday of every month at Rustic Canyon Park, at 6:30 PM.  Volunteers are always needed and they are currently looking for people to help with our upcoming Rustic Night Dinner Party.  Home chefs.  Decorators.  Lighting designers, etc.  They are also looking for someone to manage emails and community outreach. And, of course, donations are always appreciated. You can donate funds to LAPARKSFOUNDATION.ORG.    You can even specify which programs you would like your contribution to fund.

LIVE Rustic! PLAY  Rustic!


The U.S. Department of Agriculture named Los Angeles, along with 26 other California counties, as a designated primary natural disaster area due to the unprecedented drought conditions that we are witnessing.  At the same time Governor Jerry Brown has declared a drought State of Emergency statewide. Typically LA receives 15 inches of rain a year.  Last year it was just 3 inches!

So, it is time to brush up on those water-saving measures.  You remember those “don’t flush the toilet every time you use it” or “put a bucket in the shower to capture the water days”!  Well, here are some other tips that may seem not as yucky and will save a lot of water (and money on your water bill).

In California more than 50 percent of residential water use occurs outdoors!  Oh, how we love our lush green lawns.  But, if you don’t really use your lawn (no kids playing touch football in the back yard, no pets frolicking about) then alternatives such as native plants, succulents, rock gardens are all beautiful and economical. A small 1,000 sf lawn takes about 35,000 gallons of water per year.  In the winter, even though the temperatures have been in the 80s your lawn doesn’t need as much water because it is cooler during the night and the water is stored in the ground.

Here are some other painless water saving tips:
Take shorter showers.  A 5 minute shower vs 10 minute shower saves 12.5 to 25 gallons.
Turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth or shaving will save 10 gallons a day.
Clean driveways, sidewalks and patios with a broom – you’ve just saved about 8-18 gallons a minute.
Fixing worn washers in a faucet with a slow steady drip saves 350 gallons a month. And putting a new flapper in a leaking toilet can save 7,000 gallons a month.
A water-efficient washing machine will save you 16 gallons a load. A water-efficient dishwasher will save 8 gallons a load.
Soak pots and pans rather than run water over them while scraping the stuck on food will also save water.
Replacing a pre-1990 toilet will save 38 gallons a day per toilet!

And, for the truly committed – think twice before flushing that toilet!

Let’s all do our part.