Supervisors OK Nature Center on Palos Verdes Peninsula

Over vociferous protests from nature lovers, homeowners groups and city officials from Rancho Palos Verdes, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors gave the go-ahead Thursday to build a $4-million nature center on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The 6,600-square-foot center is to be named after Deane Dana, the supervisor who represents the area, and will be the cornerstone of a 123-acre park that straddles Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro. The park itself was renamed Deane Dana Friendship Community Regional County Park this spring, in honor of the supervisor, who will retire in 1996.

More than 50 people attended the hearing in Downtown Los Angeles to testify against the project, saying that the area was already a “nature center” and that a two-story building and asphalt parking lot would diminish the area’s beauty and educational value.

“The native habitats of both plants and animals would be gravely disturbed, and in some cases permanently destroyed, by the proposed projects,” said Jane Jones, chairwoman of Friends of Friendship Park. After the hearing, Jones said her group would consider filing a lawsuit to halt the project.


Dennis Morefield, a spokesman for Dana’s office, contended that the restoration of plants, grasses and trails would return the park to a more pristine state. And, he said, improvements to roadways would open up the site, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, to more senior citizens and school groups. Construction is slated to begin in February and be completed by the end of 1996.