Deukmejian to reopen on Saturday

By Brandon HENSLEY

The City of Glendale’s Community Services and Parks Department is inviting everyone to the re-opening of Deukmejian Park on Saturday.
After being devastated in the Station Fire last summer, the park is opening up once again, albeit on a lesser scale. The day will be full of activities, and will last from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
According to Jeff Weinstein, trails and open space specialist, the day has been months in the making, but the full rebuilding process will take years. Only 10 to 15 acres, including a trail that leads to the big oak tree, will be open to the public in the 710-acre park.
“Over the next months and years we’ll be working to rebuild the trails and kind of phase in more of the park opening to the public,” Weinstein said. “We’re looking at sort of a three-year project. Hopefully it’s faster than that … hopefully the vegetation will come back and it will be a wonderful facility once again.”
“For me the exciting thing is to see how all the plants regenerate,” said Mike Lawler, president of the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley. “All the unique wild flowers that are coming out and everything.”
The Historical Society will play a role in the event. It will have two booths set up, including one with blown up pictures of the park after the fire. What was found after the fire, according to Lawler, were many devices for water collection, a motorcycle frame, and a trail to a vineyard that no one knew about.
After a pancake breakfast, activities will include a re-opening ceremony, a talk on how Native Americans used fire to manage the land, hikes and other talks centered around the park. At night, Weinstein encouraged everyone to come back with blankets and chairs at 8 p.m. for a showing of “Rancho La Cañada,” a film put together by Historical Society member John Newcombe on the history of Crescenta
Weinstein noted the importance of the park to CV residents. Deukmejian has been home to environmental education, hiking, and campfire programs.  Weinstein said his department has had three volunteer work days where people have come to help the vegetation grow.
Ten months later, and the wait is almost over. “The people can hardly wait to get back out there,” Weinstein said.