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The Audubon Center at Debs Park

Los Angeles is home to unique ecosystems as well as a long tradition of public parklands and environmental conservation. In this post, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of one of the city’s most inventive ecological resources, the Audubon Center at Debs Park.

The Center first opened in 2003, designed as a conservation and environmental education center that would allow Los Angeles residents to visit and learn about local wildlife in their natural habitat.

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Photo credit: Laparent.com

The Center is situated in Debs Park, the fourth largest public park in the city of Los Angeles. A rolling swath of grasslands northeast of downtown Los Angeles, most of the park’s sprawling acreage is covered in walnut-oak woodland and coastal sage scrub – the same flora that filled the Los Angeles Basin before it became a metropolis. The area has become a haven for birds, and over 140 separate species have been recorded in the park’s environs – the park’s shaded trails are filled with birdsong.

The Center at Debs Park is operated by Audubon California, a state-level field program of the National Audubon Society. Part of the Society’s mission is to engage young people, as well as to cultivate diverse audiences in the Los Angeles area. Designed to serve as a recreation and education venue, the Center is a unique community gathering spot and dynamic focal point for outdoor activity, hands-on environmental learning, and wildlife conservation.

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Photo Credit: Modernhiker.com

The Center’s mission is to teach the public about the unique value of nature, inspiring visitors to understand and care for the natural world by allowing them to encounter it firsthand. Community and education programs at Debs Park are engineered to engage children and their families with the outdoor world, giving them a personal stake in safeguarding the environment by showing them how environmental concerns are relevant to their own lives.

Looking for kid-friendly sites for local excursions? Visit the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena!

The Audubon Center includes extensive displays about California’s extraordinary bird species, from the scurrying quail to the soaring condor. Visitors can see their feathered neighbors outdoors on monthly all-ages bird walks. Many of the Center’s activities are geared towards introducing visitors to surrounding Debs Park, and the Center’s crowded social calendar also includes guided hikes, community science projects, art classes, musical performances, film screenings, yoga, tai chi, and seasonal celebrations. Most programs are free of charge and open to the public. The park itself is mostly dog-friendly, with facilities for fishing and picnics.

The Center’s ecological mission extends to design – the Audubon Center was the first LEED platinum certified building in the country, and one of the very first carbon-neutral buildings constructed in the United States. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program developed to encourage architects, owners, builders, and communities to plan and construct energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly buildings. LEED is the most widely-used verification system of its kind, and it has become the “green standard” for ecological building innovation.

LEED certification is designed to work for all buildings of all shapes and sizes, from single-family homes to skyscrapers, and the rating system is intended to address many different aspects of environmentally-conscious design: water and energy savings, efficient use of space, renewable materials, and reduced emissions. The Audubon Center at Debs Park holds the highest possible rating, an accolade that reflects everything from its innovative architecture to its ecological advocacy.

A big component of LEED rating is strategic use of space – renewable materials and energy efficient technology can take you a long way, but cutting down on waste also means making sure that every building becomes a durable resource. The Center’s “platinum” certification is also based on its commitment to providing a multi-use public space to members of the community. Not content to rest on its laurels, the Center holds free public seminars on LEED certification and design, so that local home and business owners can learn how to make these improvements themselves.

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Photo Credit: Modernhiker.com

The Audubon Center works hard to be kid-friendly as well as environment-friendly, and a big part of its community engagement comes from local school field trips, since Debs Park is preserved as a natural space but maintained as an accessible local parkland. There’s an extensive play and exploration area located just behind the Center buildings with plenty of activities for kids, as well as a short Butterfly Trail perfect for younger hikers. The Center leads group nature walks from the center, and visitors can ask about upcoming hikes at the information desk. If you’d like to take a family or solo hike, docents at the center offer maps and route recommendations for all ages, and the Audubon Center offers backpacks and binoculars on loan for free to park visitors!

Interested in more opportunities for hiking? Check out Eaton Canyon in South Pasadena!

Visit the Debs Park Audubon Center to learn about local wildlife, and then take a stroll around the trails outside to see California’s extraordinary native birds in their natural surroundings!

Real Estate Unlimited is a real-estate company dedicated to representing clients in Silver Lake, Echo park, Los Feliz, and several other historic neighborhoods throughout the Los Angeles area. We pride ourselves on our in-depth knowledge of the Los Angeles area, and we’re glad to give our clients the benefit of our local expertise. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Vroman’s Bookstore

Are you tired of going to Barnes & Noble and shopping for books at the grocery store? Read on to learn more about Vroman’s Bookstore and other sites in Pasadena, California.

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You won’t believe the selection of books in this independent bookstore, a shopping experience unique to Southern California. Vroman’s Bookstore is the oldest and biggest store of its kind in the Los Angeles area. At Vroman’s, you’ll find a book for any taste, and you’ll have the opportunity to attend events, meet authors, enjoy trivia nights, and go to launch parties. The store was awarded Publisher’s Weekly Bookseller of the Year in 2008 and has hosted Bernie Sanders, Ray Bradbury, President Bill Clinton, Anne Rice, Joan Didion, Neil Gaiman, David Sedaris, Upton Sinclair, and more.

Adam Clark Vroman, the founder of Vroman’s Bookstore, was originally from Illinois before coming to California and selling his book collection following the death of his wife Esther. Eventually, he opened his bookstore in 1894. He is also well-known for his photography of Native American tribes in Arizona and New Mexico, in which he took portraits in a respectful manner. Vroman was also fascinated with taking photos of American western landscapes.

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Photo Credit: http://www.vromansbookstore.com/files/vromansbookstore/interior.jpg

Vroman left a legacy of giving back to the community. During the second world war, he took books to Japanese Internment Camps in California, even when armed guards tried to stop him with firepower. Additionally, he worked at mission sites, assisted with opening the Southwest Museum, and was a part of the Pasadena Public Library project.

Today, the owner of Vroman’s Bookstore is the great grandson of one of the employees who Vroman left the bookstore to when he died in 1916. This independent bookstore is still family owned, and today the company has two bookstore locations, two smaller locations in the Los Angeles Airport, and the company acquired the independent bookstore Book Soup in 2009 (located in West Hollywood).

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At Vroman’s, you’ll find books, specialty pens and stationery, cards to send your loved ones and friends, and many types of gifts. The store is located at 695 E Colorado Boulevard, and proceeds from every book purchase go towards a charity of the customer’s choice. Furthermore, through Vroman’s Gives Back programming, the store hosts events for community fundraising. Past events have included HIV testing, raffles, pet adoption, book fairs, support for girl scout troops and more. The store puts on more than 400 events for the community annually and has raised $655,998.52.

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While in the Pasadena area, be sure to visit these sites as well:

Pasadena City College Flea Market

Norton Simon Museum

Old Town Pasadena

Real Estate Unlimited is a real estate company with specialized knowledge in luxury real estate in the city of Los Angeles, California. We also have expertise in the areas of Pasadena, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Elysian Park, and more. We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service for our clients who are buying or selling their homes. Contact us today for a consultation.

Pasadena City College Flea Market

While waiting for the 626 Night Market near South Pasadena to start this summer, get out and enjoy the California sun while visiting the Pasadena City College Flea Market. You may have never heard of a nonprofit flea market before, but this one is the largest of its kind in the state of California. For the bargain hunters out there, you will not be able to resist more than 400 vendors offering deals and the food trucks serving lunch and treats.

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The Pasadena City College Flea Market is located on the college campus at 1570 E Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California. It spans both the West Side Parking Lot and the East Side Parking Lot (both of which are covered, so you won’t have to spend the entire day in the sun). The market is run by the Board of Directors, and the proceeds go to a scholarship for college students. Keep the first Sunday of the month free, and go shopping between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm.

You’ll find anything you could need and more from the various vendors at the market, including carpets, potted plants and succulents, artwork, sunglasses, handmade ceramics, Halloween decorations, clothing, jewelry, kitchenware, antiques, music, furniture, collectibles, and more. Redecorate your kitchen, find the perfect vase for a bouquet of flowers, and complete your music collection in one trip.

The Record Swap event at the flea market is extremely popular, where shoppers search for and trade records, CDs, and DVDs. You’ll find it on the ramp on the fourth floor in Lot 5.

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The Pasadena City College Flea Market was pioneered in 1977 by Tom and Tim Selinske in 1977. Pasadena City College was founded in 1924; it was originally named Pasadena Junior College until it was combined with John Muir College. Admission to the market is free, and parking is a small fee of two dollars per car. There are also shuttles that take shoppers between the two parking structures.

Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles, California in the San Gabriel Valley and the famous home of the Tournament of Roses Parade. While in Pasadena, visit the Rose Bowl Stadium, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena Playhouse, Norton Simon Museum, and Old Town Pasadena.

Real Estate Unlimited is a Los Angeles-based real estate agency with expert knowledge of the market in the city and the surrounding areas. We list homes in Pasadena, Silver Lake, Highland Park, Elysian Park, Eagle Rock, Los Feliz, and more. Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation today.