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"Vista Hermosa" is a Beautiful View in any Language

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Sunday, July 20, 2008, at 07:09AM
Vista Ed Fuentes

Opening ceremonies at Vista Hermosa, located west of the 110 on 1st Street.

On Saturday morning, the upper and lower eco-friendly fields of Vista Hermosa Natural Park were brightened by the colors of soccer uniforms, as young players darted in and around trails, rocks and grass. Some lingered at the edge of a cliff to stare at the dark green synthetic turf of the soccer field, while others obeyed coaches' orders to sit and listen to the opening day speeches.

The ceremonies brought out a crowd of interested community members and involved politicians, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmembers Ed Reyes and Jose Huizar. All were excited to debut the new 10.4 acre space in City West.

To the delight of the soccer players, the tightly scheduled ceremony took an unexpected turn when a trained falcon kept everyone waiting while sitting on the arm of a handler at the top of the hill. The bird surveyed the park and, after coaxing, flapped a wing to the crowd and then flew off toward Echo Park, leaving a trainer on the lower stage holding bait.

This last delay even amused two men raised in local neighborhoods, Councilmembers Reyes and Huizar, who along with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the city’s Recreation and Parks department, LAUSD, the State, the County, and private funders LA84 and the Wiengart Foundation, were finally able to debut the new green space.

The falcon was just following the spirit of the day and seeking some urban refuge.

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