I guess we have to acknowledge that both the U.S. and California are in a budget crunch and money is hard to come by for park maintenance, as Econerd pointed out in her comment for Part I. One way to raise money for parks is to contract them out for movie and TV shoots, which is happening at King Gillette with the “Biggest Loser.” Another way is to rent facilities out for weddings and events, which also happens at the local park. What I wanted to stress in the last post was that the balance of land use between TV shoot and parkland seems to have shifted the past few years. Now, King Gillette feels to me, more like a TV location than a park, and maintenance is obviously still needed, even with the alternative funding coming in.
For a little background, I am going to quote the lamountains.com website, because the ownership arrangement is complex: “King Gillette Ranch is owned and managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) in cooperation with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNA) “…”the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) and California State Parks.”
How is that for alphabet soup? FYI, the MRCA is the public agency managing parks for the SMMC. The park consists of 588 acres, and include the 1920′s home of King C. Gillette, which was designed by famed architect, Wallace Neff. In 2005, the parkland was bought by the 4 agencies above, with the aid of several other agencies and private donations, according the the National Parks website. King Gillette Ranch was then opened to the public in June, 2007.