Celebrate the Village Green’s 50th Birthday

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Village Green park under construction. A gas station that had been located at the site and its tanks were removed.

The Palisades Village Green is turning 50 years old and the board of directors of this triangular private park are asking the community to join in the festivities from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 27.

“We want to celebrate the amazing community that helped bring the Village Green Park to life when it was converted from a gas station to the beautiful little park we all enjoy in the heart of the village,” said Village Green co-president Cindy Kirven.

Antioch Street, next to the Village Green, will be closed and a food truck will be available. Additionally, the Palisades Farmers Market will hold its regular Sunday market, allowing residents to participate in both events.

UCLA student Mia Ruhman, who grew up here and regularly sings with the United Methodist Church on Via de la Paz, will sing the National Anthem to start the program. Rich Wilken will emcee. Look for Randy Young to share information and long-time barbershop owner Joe Almarez to speak.

CD 11 Councilmember’s office will be on hand to make special presentations.

Palisades High School AP Photography teacher Rick Steil will announce the winner(s) of the photo contest. All residents were invited to submit their favorite photos of the Village Green.

There will be several community groups with tables at the park. Activities will include a kids’ art table aided by professional artist Katie O’Neill.

Two bands will perform. The Shambles will began playing after the opening ceremony.

The Westside Jazz Ensemble will play in the early afternoon to help close out the 50th birthday celebration.

That triangular park started as a Standard Service station in 1945, leading one resident to call it “A toilet seat in the middle of the town.”

In 1972, Standard Oil decided not to renew its lease. The newly organized Pacific Palisades Community Council established a five-member Village Green Committee and signed a lease giving the committee an option to buy the land — if it could raise the necessary funds. Starting in October that year, nearly $70,000 was raised. About $46,000 was used to purchase the land and the rest of the money went to park development.

The Palisades Village Green was certified as a California nonprofit and formally dedicated on August 17, 1973.

Several Optimists were integral to the park’s founding, including Wally Miller and Tom McKiernan.

Annually, the board must raise money to pay the DWP, gardeners, fountain upkeep, tree, trash removal, hardscaping and yard maintenance. Unexpected costs such as vandalism and graffiti removal also is factored into the budget.

Residents who would like to donate to the park’s upkeep or to become board members, can go to the website for information. Visit: palisadesvillagegreen.org.

Electrician Tom Doran has repaired the electrical boxes on the Village Green. He has done it pro bono for the nonprofit.

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