Note: The following is a conceptual
proposal for Lower Point Vicente Park that has been put forward for consideration
by the Los Serenos de Point Vicente Docents. This, as well as other proposals
for the site, are currently under consideration by the City.
Proposal for Lower Point Vicente Park
The Point Vicente Outdoor Living History Museum
Presented by the docents of Los Serenos de Point Vicente
We would like to present to you the Los Serenos de Point Vicente Docents’
proposal for the Outdoor Living History Museum as a plan to complete the
long-awaited new Point Vicente Interpretive Center.
This unique piece of land that we call the "educational triangle,"
encompassing the area surrounding the Interpretive Center from PV Drive
West to the ocean, will be an outdoor nature laboratory. As an extension
of the Interpretive Center, this spot is the ONLY place where this plan
The Outdoor Living History Museum concept has been our vision for many
years. Prior to the Center’s closure, members of Los Serenos toured children
through these quiet surroundings, reflecting on the history and solitude
of this breathtaking site. As an improvement of our earlier tours, this
outdoor educational area will allow visitors the opportunity to experience
life as it was throughout the centuries on this very peninsula. Walk through
an Indian gathering area. Participate in an archeological "find".
Watch the farmers practice "dry farming" as they have done for
decades – on this very peninsula! Wander the trails winding through natural
habitat; catch a glimpse of a bird overhead or an animal scurrying out
of sight. Touch the rocks and fossils and crystals, which have been part
of the peninsula for millions of years.
The beautiful new Point Vicente Interpretive Center
– the core, the heartbeat, the JEWEL OF THE PENINSULA! The expanded
building will be a center of learning for children and adults, as well
as docents. This unique museum experience will be carried outside as
one walks through 5 basic areas.
The history of the Japanese farmers in this area goes
back to the early 1900’s, and they have continuously farmed here since
then. At one time, the majority of the children in the Malaga Cove school
were Japanese. This picture of the farmers was taken here in the 1930’s.
To support the continuation of farming here is consistent with the Rancho
Palos Verdes Master Plan. The farm presently at Pt. Vicente is one of
the last original farm on the hill. Mr. Hatano, the farmer, has indicated
that he would assist us in learning about dry farming methods, so that
this important heritage can be shared with our school tours and other
visitors. The experiences here could include seasonal festivals such as,
"From Field to Table". We would show the children how food is
grown and harvested, prepared and enjoyed. We could include Japanese and
Indian heritage displays, and arts and crafts.
The next component of the Living History Museum is the
"Archaeological Dig." This would be a clean pit of sand salted
with fossils, bones, shells, and replica "artifacts" supplied
by the docents, and maybe even created by the children themselves. They’d
learn how to dig and explore, discover and evaluate their findings.
Dr. Bruce Zuckerman from the USC Archeology Dept. has
indicated an interest in advising and assisting us with this area.
From there we can wander through the native habitat
and into the Indian Gathering Area, which will be set apart and buffered
on all sides by native plants and bushes so the children can experience
what it was like centuries ago to be an Indian child right here on the
Peninsula: only the sounds of the animals and birds and the waves from
the shores below; no cars, no buildings other than the kishes that you
see in this picture – the grass huts not much taller than the people
themselves. We’ll teach them Indian games and crafts, and how plants
were used for food and medicines. Jacob Gutierrez , a Tongva Indian, will
advise us in planning this area. And John Olguin, Director Emeritus
of the Cabrillo Aquarium and "Mr. Living History" himself,
is looking forward to helping us.
One of the most remarkable features of the Peninsula
is its geology. People from around the world come here to study the
13 visible terraces and all they reveal. This area will have examples
to touch and see: basalt, intrusion rock (such as this example in the
picture), crystals, and fossils. We hope to integrate the PV School
District’s 6th grade Geology Studies with a visit here, as
a preview to the hike program in the Forrestal Nature Preserve that
our Docents conduct with them each year.
Here we can wander through a native plant garden and
natural habitat area, thanks to the California Native Plant Society
and a grant from the Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Club. The garden
will be planned and planted by the CA Native Plant Society, assisted
by the Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary members. The plants will be labeled
so the visitor can then wander throughout the rest of the park and learn
to identify them in a natural setting. John Nieto, a Docent and the
Land Conservancy Educational Director, will also be on hand to help
with the plant education. We also plan to have periodic lectures by
native plant experts, which will be open to the public.
The trails will connect with Upper Pt. Vicente, wander
past all these natural history components, throughout native habitat,
joining the Pacific Coast Trail along the ocean, and connecting on the
left to Ocean Front Estates, and on the right eventually all the way
to San Pedro. The grassy area will be a place for picnics, family gatherings,
community activities such as "Shakespeare By The Sea," relaxing…and
solitude. And of course, we will once again have whale watching from
this ideal site during migration season, from either cliff side or the
outdoor amphitheatre. Imagine: all of these historical elements which
are tied to the land in this one area, all connected to the Point Vicente
Interpretive Center. There is no location other than Lower Pt. Vicente
that would suit this Outdoor History Museum!
All of these areas deserve much more attention, but
let’s focus on just one. The Tongva Indians who actually lived on the
Peninsula are dwindling in number. There are only about 300 left. We
hope that our Tongva Gathering Area will be an attraction to those who
want to learn more about our native people. We will teach children and
adults alike about their lives, their homes and customs, and how they
lived off the land.
We hope to attract Indian Festivals such as this one.
We will give visitors the experience of their music, their crafts, and
This integrated Living History Museum will be a resource,
a hands-on learning center, an outdoor extension of the beautiful new Point
Vicente Interpretive Center. It will be a Historical walk back in time of
life right here. What a great place to visit for the 10,000 children of
the peninsula, their parents and grandparents, as well as school children
from throughout the LA area, and visitors from around the world. History
demands that we be faithful to the story of our land. This can ONLY happen
here. And with it, the peaceful, quiet seaside ambiance in Lower Pt. Vicente
Park will continue to make this spot "The JEWEL of the Peninsula." Committee: Vic Quirarte, President
Joan Barry, Past President Bill Lama, Vice-President Bob
Barry, Docent Betty Riedman, Volunteer