Letter: Charmlee a treasure

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I am greatly dismayed that city councilmembers Joan House and Lou La Monte would ever consider “giving away” 530-plus acres of Charmlee Wilderness Park for a few acres of Bluff’s Park! 

Joe Edmiston tried to grab Charmlee just a few years ago to put camping up there, as well as a 5,000-square-foot nature center, ranger quarters and much more. Thankfully we were able to rescue Charmlee. If Malibu doesn’t keep ownership of Charmlee, things will change, and not for the better. This area is a gem in the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu should be proud to own this park. I don’t think House or La Monte have any idea what has been going on up there for more than 30 years. If they had done some research by asking the Malibu Parks and Rec Department, they would have had an earful. 

We have had an ongoing volunteer docent program catering not only to the children of Malibu, but that supports more than 2,000 inner city children per year to enjoy the beautiful nature of this incredible park. Many years ago the Charmlee Board of Directors secured private grant money that allows the board to pay for the school buses and drivers to visit Charmlee every Thursday during the school year. These schools are government subsidized Title 1 schools. They do not have money for educational school trips. The approximate cost to get a bus and driver to bring the children to Charmlee runs around $500 and up per trip. 

The impact of our programs changed many children’s lives. Some have never seen the ocean. We encourage kids to bring their parents up to Charmlee for the full moon hikes getting the whole family involved. 

Charmlee is home to several endangered species, both fauna and flora. The numerous miles of trails in this large park allow many people to be hiking in the park at one time and still give the feeling of the solitude of nature. 

Once you have seen Charmlee in full bloom in the springtime, you will never forget the beauty of this magnificent area. 

Linda JoslynnPresident of the Charmlee Wilderness Docents