Stop swap


    It was indeed gratifying to see so many people attend the Malibu Parks and Recreation Master Plan Community Workshop — especially on a Saturday evening! Having a community center — central to Malibu — with all types of sports activities accessible on the same location, seemed to be the aspiration shared by all. How wonderful to think that there could be a place were one could bring their tots, teen, dog and a senior citizen!

    Although most seemed oriented to sports (and Little League), it was a pleasure to witness all those who were concerned with having other sorts of activities available, including nature studies. I was unable to congratulate the gentleman who mentioned the need for environmental studies — saying how we all talk about the environment but no let’s learn what to do to preserve the environment! Thanks for that insight! Another thanks to those who realized that not all youths (or adults) are interested in sports, and remembered arts/crafts, music, nature studies, dance/drama, etc. etc. etc.!

    The desire for an area where all ages could converge to either enjoy the multiple sports available or utilize one of the many meeting rooms is a worthy need, but how one goes about obtaining this dream needs deep consideration. There were many ideas on how to obtain the land necessary to build this center. I was really shocked to hear among these ideas the mention of using Charmlee as a “land swap deal.” I really don’t think many realize the precious jewel that Charmlee is, nor how to really use Charmlee. We are living in a world of quickly depleting natural resources — where various plants and animals have become an endangered species almost overnight. I’ve envisioned Malibu becoming an environmental conscious role model for the rest of California. It takes thousands of years for nature to unfold a place of beauty such as Charmlee. It only takes a short time to destroy the same place!

    Although meant to be a positive input, it surprised me that the equestrians were among the group that came up with the ridiculous idea of swapping a nature preserve — Charmlee — which should be cherished as possibly being the only piece of natural land around for further generations, for a sports area! The equestrians supported the purchase of Charmlee and by the evidence of horse prints and manure on the trails, still enjoy its quiet magic. I have witnessed state-owned land being neglected — such as the Headlands at Cliffside. Putting in the wooden access and view deck may have been a great idea, but people have abused the area tremendously. Polls and fences have been knocked down, with footprints and garbage all over the stretch that has been reseeded. It’s interesting how those areas are maintained by the local citizens and are in better condition! So before taking any action, please consider carefully all the implications involved when swapping land with the state!

    Having Charmlee Nature Preserve is a privilege for Malibu. I urge everyone to discover its charms for themselves. I challenge you, Ms. Walter, to put on some hiking boots and walk along one of the trails — listening, feeling and smelling nature. No need to worry about getting lost — the trails are easy to follow. Then a hike for the rest of the city employees should be organized. Perhaps then you all will realize the importance of not letting this gem slip through your fingers.

    I look forward to the next workshop.

    A. DeClario