Advocacy: Area A Access

Students visit the newly opened Area A of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve with nature guides from the Land Trust. The Land Trust advocated for this access for many years. Scroll down to learn more!
Photo: Courtney Lamb

Our organization has been working for years to facilitate wildlife-sensitive access to areas of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve on the north side of Ballona Creek. It was one of the major goals I listed for 2022 in my recent end-of-year report, so we are thrilled to have achieved this milestone in January! We want to thank everyone who helped secure this important policy change, which will help the community better appreciate the value of the ecological reserve and help develop the next generation of stewards for our precious natural areas at Ballona and elsewhere.

We thank the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for agreeing to implement this access, the California Coastal Conservancy, especially board member Joseph Alioto and Director Amy Hutzel, for supporting this new policy, former Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown for being an early supporter, many other advocacy groups and individuals who spoke out in favor of this policy change and, of course, all of you who have supported our efforts. Also, a special remembrance for the late Donna Murray, a beloved board member and former teacher who was a tremendous advocate for outdoor nature education and who helped to articulate the value of this managed access.

The new policy allows for general public access from 8 AM to 1 PM Wednesday through Saturday. For the protection of wildlife and the safety of visitors, all posted rules must be strictly adhered to. The Land Trust has no special permit to conduct any activities pursuant to this new access, but we will be inquiring about the possibility of conducting free field trips here for kids from park-poor communities.

The site is perfect for younger students getting an introduction to wildlife and habitat as the path is relatively short, with benches and interpretive signs.

For more information on how teachers and other group leaders can plan their own visits to this newly accessible area, please contact