Open Spaces

Third Quarter 1998

A newsletter published by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy



  • Banquet Caps Anniversary Celebration
  • California Budget Allocates $100,000 for Restoration of Peninsula Habitat
  • EPA Grant Supports Expansion of Environmental Education Program into South Bay Schools
  • Nature Walks Offer Benefits of Walking
  • Alison Lipman Named Interim Stewardship Director
  • Large Critters Eating Small Critters
  • Haiku Corner...
  • Art Show Scheduled for May 1999

  • Banquet Caps Anniversary Celebration

    On September 16, more than 100 participants, including many local dignitaries, celebrated the Conservancy's accomplishments in the ten years following our founding in 1988. A highlight of the Tenth Anniversary Banquet, held in the Madeo Ballroom at the San Pedro Hilton Hotel, was recognition of individuals and organizations whose contributions to preserving open space have been outstanding over that period.

    Assemblyman Steve Kuykendall (left) was praised for his longtime support of open space preservation and his actions leading to the acquisition of the Forrestal property in Rancho Palos Verdes. Kuykendall helped secure funding critical to the purchase of the property and subsequently earmarked $100,000 of State funds for Conservancy-led habitat restoration activities on the Peninsula (see related story on page 2).

    Palos Verdes Estates resident and developer Kenneth Zuckerman (right) was honored for his efforts and support. The Zuckerman family donated the 20-acre Lunada Canyon property to the Conservancy in 1992, and Zuckerman was a principal in the transfer of the 53-acre Shoreline Park property from LA County to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes in 1997. The County had twice looked at options for selling this property, but the transfer assured that it will remain open space in perpetuity, for which Supervisor Don Knabe was a strong advocate.

    The cities of Rancho Palos Verdes, represented by Mayor Barbara Ferraro (right), and Rolling Hills Estates, represented by Mayor Barbara Rauch (left), were honored for their long term support of open space preservation. Rolling Hills Estates received special mention for its partnership with the Conservancy in the preservation and management of the 28-acre Linden H. Chandler Preserve. This property was acquired by the City in 1993 using $1.4 million of LA County Measure A funds. The Conservancy also manages the City's George F Canyon Nature Center.

    Rancho Palos Verdes was noted for its actions contributing to the preservation of the 160-acre Forrestal property in 1996 and Shoreline Park in 1997. The Forrestal property was acquired using $4.3 million in LA County Measure A funds and $3 million in State funds.

    The Conservancy's accomplishments over the last ten years were acknowledged with awards from State Senator Betty Karnette, Assemblyman Steve Kuykendall, Supervisor Don Knabe, the Cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates, and the Palos Verdes Unified School District. A special award was also received from the nationwide America the Beautiful Foundation.

    The meeting was highlighted by a talk by LA County Regional Planning Commissioner Esther Feldman. Feldman is credited with making over $2 billion available for land preservation nationwide and was responsible for the 1992 and 1996 Measure A initiatives in Los Angeles county. She received the prestigious National Chevron Conservation Award in 1997, one of only five awarded nationwide.

    Feldman congratulated the Conservancy for its leadership in securing over $12 million in 1992 and 1996 Measure A funds for land preservation on the Peninsula and for spearheading the preservation of more than 260 acres of open space. She discussed the growth of the land trust movement over the last century, noting that over 1,000 local groups like the PVPLC have been formed in the last century.

    The Tenth Anniversary Celebration also honored the contributions of Conservancy founder Bill Ailor, who has served as president of the organization since its founding in 1988. Ailor accepted his award by noting that the Conservancy is an example of what people dedicated to an idea can do to benefit their community.

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    California Budget Allocates $100,000 for Restoration of Peninsula Habitat

    The budget bill recently approved by the California legislature and signed into law by Governor Wilson included $100,000 allocated to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for habitat restoration projects on the Peninsula.

    The funds, which were secured by 54th District Assemblyman Steve Kuykendall, will be used to aggressively restore the Linden H. Chandler Preserve in Rolling Hills Estates and the Lunada Canyon Preserve in Rancho Palos Verdes. We also hope to apply significant funds to the Forrestal and Shoreline Park properties in Rancho Palos Verdes, and will be working with Rancho Palos Verdes to craft an agreement for these properties. Funds may also be applied to restoration projects in the Malaga Cove area of Palos Verdes Estates, pending agreement with that city.

    "We are most pleased with Assemblyman Kuykendall's work on this," said Conservancy President Bill Ailor. "He has helped make people at the State level aware of the significant habitat we have on the Peninsula. These funds will help us make major strides in our efforts to upgrade this habitat. And, since we use volunteers for much of our work, $100,000 will go a long way."

    Before restoration or any other activities on the selected properties begin, we must complete biological inventories of each site. This information is then integrated into a long term restoration and maintenance plan.

    We have completed inventories for the Linden H. Chandler and Lunada Canyon preserves, and these are available in PV Libraries. We will need to conduct detailed studies of Shoreline Park and the Forrestal properties before beginning restoration work there.

    We will have lots of great restoration-related volunteer opportunities available as we move this along. If you'd like to get on our volunteer list, please call our office at (310) 541-7613.

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    EPA Grant Supports Expansion of Environmental Education Program into South Bay Schools

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted $5,000 to the Conservancy to help us expand our hands-on learning program into schools in several cities in the South Bay.

    This program, first developed in support of the Palos Verdes Unified School District's Hands-On Science Program, has been presented to over 1,200 third grade students and has been enthusiastically received by teachers, students, and parents alike.

    This customized environmental education curriculum uses local Coastal Sage Scrub habitat as a laboratory for hands-on, inquiry driven learning. The hands-on, investigative approach to learning about local habitat presents science in a way which is both challenging and intriguing.

    We hope this program will contribute to the development of competent scientific thinkers who can embrace the increasingly complex environmental issues of our world.

    Our program provides this opportunity in a format that is easily replicated for other districts, and this grant will help us introduce the concept to schools in Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Harbor City, Banning, Lomita, Gardena, Long Beach, San Pedro, and Carson.

    Thanks to a grant from Las Candalistas, we have successfully raised the required matching funds and are well on our way to a very exciting school year full of environmental science and education for elementary school children in the South Bay area.

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    Nature Walks Offer Benefits of Walking

    Everyone is getting into the fitness mode, joining health clubs, running, cycling, etc. However, walking still remains one of the best ways to keep yourself fit. And what better, more enjoyable way to accomplish this than to participate in the Nature Walk programs sponsored by the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy.

    The Nature Walks offer you all the benefits of walking plus the chance to learn more about the Peninsula. Let's take a look at the benefits.

    Walking improves your aerobic capacity - that is, your ability to do things without tiring. It builds up your stamina so that you can have more time to enjoy nature before fatigue sets in. You can build your stamina slowly at first, if you are not in condition, and then gradually increase your time and distance. Provided you are otherwise healthy, you can increase your time and distance by 10% per week until you have reached a good program for yourself.

    Your muscles need time to build strength which parallels with stamina. Climbing up and down the hills of Palos Verdes will help you to load the muscles in different ways, helping them to develop tone.

    Weight bearing stresses applied to bone and joints maintain them in good condition. This keeps them healthy and helps to prevent osteoporosis which can lead to increased incidence of fracture. Plus, keeping your body moving just keeps things limber and helps to ward off joint stiffness. Flexibility helps to decrease the potential for injury and to improve physical function.

    One must be prepared for the over-hill-and-dale activity with proper clothing, including good walking shoes or boots. Consideration for the elements include the concept of layering, removing or adding clothing as needed. Protection from the sun is important too--sun screen, sun glasses and a hat are in order. Lastly, water and a snack should be included depending on the length of the walk.

    You should check with your family doctor if there is any concern over whether you can tolerate this type of activity. Once you have the all-clear signal, the Land Conservancy Nature Walks are a wonderful way to enjoy nature, learn about the area and in general to stay fit and to enhance your sense of well being.

    By Dr. Vincent Gilliland

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    Alison Lipman Named Interim Stewardship Director

    A new Land Stewardship Director has been hired this past month to replace Ed Miller, who left for graduate school (UCSB) to pursue a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and Management. We wish Ed luck in his studies, and we welcome our newest addition to the Conservancy Staff-Alison Lipman.

    Alison received her Bachelors Degree in Environmental Studies from UCLA. She has two years experience working in the conservation and restoration of natural open space on the Peninsula. She has been involved with the UCLA- sponsored restoration project, working to promote reestablishment of the Federally-listed endangered Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly, at the Navy Fuel Depot in San Pedro.

    Working there, she has gained knowledge and experience in the restoration of our community's natural habitats. She is also well acquainted with the native flora of the area, and this past year she has been conducting a species-by-species survey across the entire Peninsula.

    Alison is a lover of the outdoors and the natural environment. This can be seen in both her work and private life-whether it be conducting surveys on the endangered Northern Spotted Owl in Mt. Rainier National Park or trekking through the high Sierras on vacation. Her most favored pastimes include backpacking, traveling, bicycling, boating, and martial arts.

    "The Palos Verdes Peninsula has a unique ecosystem, which I have come to know personally in my work over the past years. Nothing pleases me more than to be able to help the PVP Land Conservancy in their worthy mission to protect and restore these beautiful natural open spaces.

    "Restoration of our natural lands can be an exciting process: clearing away invasive plant species, planting native plants, and watching them grow into a healthy community, where our native animals can once again thrive.

    "I welcome all those who are interested in the process to participate in our monthly volunteer days. Become a part of your natural environment-again."

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    Large Critters Eating Small Critters

    By Joseph Slap

    Here on the Peninsula, we do notice that the marine environment is nearby, right? Well, in what is often called an ocean or a sea, there are very interesting critters with very interesting characteristics.

    Members of several shark species have been known to attack people, which is not surprising, considering the size of the shark and the substantial meal a person might make.

    The second largest of all fish are members of the species Cetorhinus maximus, known as the basking shark. Yep, the large size is specified by the second word in the aforementioned species name.

    Of course, the first word is the genus name, also used in identifying the species. Sharks of that species can be almost 12 yards in length. Interestingly, however, a shark of that species eats small-sized, but not vegetation-based, food.

    In much of the marine environment there are two types of plankton, namely phytoplankton, where "phyto" refers to "plant", and zooplankton, where "zoo" refers to "animal." In temperate zones along coasts around the world, the basking shark feeds near the ocean surface on zooplankton.

    The shark brings the water into its mouth and, as the water passes through its body, the zooplankton are filtered-out and digested, whereas most of the water continues through and is ejected, thus making the shark a filter-feeder like many other marine fishes.

    British biologists noticed the zooplankton feeding, so they went to a different marine area which they then heavily populated with zooplankton. Soon, basking sharks came and stayed as long as 27 hours, feeding on that population of tiny critters.

    Those facts, including the fact that certain large predators, especially feline-related ones, often can prey upon voles, field mice, or other small critters, tell us that the size of a carnivore doesn't necessarily always tell us the size of its animal food item. Presently-found evidence indicates that a favorite food of T. rex was the triceratops, but we don't yet know if that big carnivore also ate little prey.

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    Haiku Corner...

    My plan is to share with you haiku that involve single events of nature and, specifically, events that occur on our beautiful Peninsula.

    A brief introduction to haiku:

    Why has haiku endured and seen a great rise in its popularity? Because it is a way of sharing feelings and seeing nature's events more clearly. This is accomplished by composing a haiku about an observation in nature that has given one a good feeling and that, hopefully, will cause you, the reader, to have similar feelings.

    Here is an example of haiku:

    High in the palm tree

    kestrel feeding noisy young

    tireless crows circling...

    If you have composed a haiku about elements of our Peninsula, please feel free to submit it for possible publication in this corner. My e-mail address is:

    By Jorg Raue

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    Art Show Scheduled for May 1999

    The third "Palos Verdes Peninsula: An Artistic Interpretation" art exhibition has been scheduled for May 2 through June 1, 1999 at the Malaga Cove Library. This show, which has attracted over 1,200 visitors in the past two years, highlights some of the finest plein air paintings of Peninsula open space. A portion of proceeds from sales of paintings benefits the Conservancy and the PV Library District.

    The 1999 show, a collaboration between the California Art Club and the Conservancy, will highlight work of local artists Rick Humphrey and Daniel W. Pinkham. The paintings cover a variety of Peninsula landscapes. Many of the locations were done from trails that are part of Conservancy Nature Walks.

    More information on the exhibition will by published in future newsletters. We'll also display color photographs of some of the paintings on our web page (

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