At the January 20 meeting, the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks acknowledged Randy Young, a life-long Pacific Palisades resident and esteemed historian, for his $11,000 donation to Rustic Canyon Recreation Center.
“Thank you to Mr. Young for his donation,” said Sylvia Patsaouras, president of the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners.
Commissioner Joe Halper added, “He is an outstanding member of the Palisades community. I know him and I want to thank him personally for this contribution.”
Patsaouras responded, “Thank him personally for us as well.”
A report to the RAP Commissioners noted that Rustic Canyon Recreation Center is located between the mountains of Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica and is rich with historical culture.
The report pointed out that Young, who grew up in Rustic Canyon and graduated from Palisades High School, has a keen interest in preserving the heritage of the area and to further the RAP mission to enrich the lives of residents.
“Mr. Young wants to provide a welcoming environment at Rustic Canyon Recreation Center by helping to restore the facility back to its historical roots,” the report said.
Young made his donation last September, and a month later it was used to replace the flooring in the preschool room gallery at the park.
The report concluded that “Nestled in a rugged setting, Rustic Canyon Recreation Center offers a comfortable environment for RAP programs, including art, dance and cultural classes. The Preschool Room Gallery overlooks the mountainside ridge that leads to the lower-level fields. The restoration of this room’s flooring to coincide with its original look is appealing to the facility’s location and history.”
Young, a photographer who serves as curator for the Pacific Palisades Historical Society, published six books with his mother, writer Betty Lou Young, who died in 2010 at the age of 91.
The books include “Rustic Canyon and the Story of the Uplifters;” “Our First Century: The Los Angeles Athletic Club, 1880-1980;” “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea,” the definitive history of Pacific Palisades; “Street Names of Pacific Palisades and Other Tales,” and “Santa Monica Canyon, A Walk Through History.”
Young told Circling the News, “For over 65 years I have had the most wonderful memories formed around Rustic Canyon Park. It still has a magic spirit that all who visit can feel. Donating what I can to keep that spirit alive is the least I can do.”
He added, “I also want to highlight the leadership of the director of the park, Paige Barnes, who has helped so much in getting the place back together.”