Urban Fold

Urban Parks: For Nature Or People?

After a devastating fire, competing visions emerge for restoring Los Angeles' Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the nation.

"Should this be a people's park...a refuge for hikers, golfers, tai chi devotees and equestrians? Should it have more room for soccer players, softball teams and picnickers?

Or should one of the nation's largest urban parks evolve even more into a nature preserve, protected from people so that native wildlife and plants can thrive?"

"Some conservationists and scientists [see] a golden opportunity to restore much of the park's rugged interior to its once-wild state...Backers of that idea believe the fire did so much damage in part because nonnative species spread haphazardly for decades...Some argue that a park-poor city like Los Angeles cannot afford to entirely turn over the park to nature.

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