This editor can think of at least five individuals or groups that should have been honored by the town/community council but have not. Either they have been overlooked or people were unaware of the contributions they have made.
They still should be acknowledged because they are the Best of the Best.
Marge Gold has been a guardian, a protector and an effective “CEO” of the Village Green since she joined the board in 2004.
The Green depends on private donations to pay for maintenance, tree trimming, brick and bench replacement and ensuring the dolphin water fountain in the center of the green continues to operate.
Seven years after being on the board, in which she held numerous executive positions, Gold became president. She would serve 12 years in that position.
When she realized that money had to be raised annually, she led her board in putting together budgets, something that had never been done before.
She was responsible for having a website placed on the internet.
When the Palisades Business Improvement District was approved, it meant that the Village Green Board would have to raise more money to pay the annual “taxes.” The money paid for that would wipe out the possibility of tree trimming and maintenance. With help from Norm Kulla, who was district director for then-City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the City allowed the Village Green exclusion from the BID.
In her position as President, Gold went to Palisades Rotary, Optimist and the Woman’s Club and to businessmen such as Anthony Marguleas to raise money for the park.
Under her leadership, the trees were trimmed on a regular basis, maintenance was done, and trash removed (and rats removed). Gold had a shed built to hold the garden equipment and oversaw the replacement of light fixtures, bricks and benches.
Gold was a steward of the park, and because the park was private, was diligent in not allowing homeless to camp.
She heralded groups on the green, such as the American Legion Auxiliary 9/11 flags, art shows and yarn bombing—always cognizant of the insurance that was needed for activities in a private park.
When a neighboring area threatened to annex the name Village Green, she made sure there was a sign placed on the little park that identified it as the Palisades Village Green.
When two new co-presidents stepped in 2022, Gold stayed on as a recording secretary.
It was not only the Village Green, but the Palisades Americanism Parade Association that has been aided by Gold. For years, when there was a pre-parade luncheon, Gold helped find the “free” food from local restaurants. She also helped find prizes for the Home Decorating Contest.
Marge Gold is the Best of the Best.
Brief History of the Village Green:
When the town was founded in 1922, one of the earliest buildings was the Business Block Building (Sunset and Swarthmore). The land adjacent to it was created to be a park. That land was converted to a Standard Service station in 1945.
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.
Initially, that committee planned to give the pocket park to the City of Los Angeles because of the responsibility and the cost of the maintenance, but then decided to retain ownership.
The Palisades Village Green was certified as a California nonprofit and formally dedicated on August 17, 1973.