More San Gabriel River Discovery Center news

I'm not sure how one can spin a loss as a win,
but that's what the opponents of the proposed San Gabriel River Discovery Center are doing. They settled their lawsuit challenging the environmental impact report, in exchange for. . . Nothing. Well, not nothing. They got the folks trying to build the Center not to go after them for court costs, since the opponents lost the challenge and would have been liable for court costs of a frivolous lawsuit.

RE: More San Gabriel Discovery Center News

I am Jim Odling of Friends of the Whittier Narrows Natural Area.

Please read the Friends of the Whittier Narrows press release about our decision not pursue the CEQA suit. To get a copy of the release write us at

First, the San Gabriel Discovery Center does not exist. It has been a water agency plan since 1999.

Since the San Gabriel River Discovery Center joint powers authority (two water agencies, a California state government agency, and the County of Los Angeles) formed in 2006, they have not raised half the funds to construct the buildings and parking lot. They say so at their website. (They have no Operations Plan if it were built.)

Friends of the Whittier Narrows Natural Area formed in 2007. Since we began the campaign the defend the existing natural area, the Discovery Center project, a government agency meeting hall and campus, has shrunk to $22 million, down from the $27 million.

The SGRDC Authority's inaccurate application for $7 million of California State Parks funds was rejected in April of this year. The state parks department agreed with Friends that the project did not deserve state bond money.

Since the $7 million rejection the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority board is considering private funding with naming rights. After failing the $7 million, the FIRST suggestion, by one of the authority's board members, was to name it the Miller Brewing Company Discovery Center, if the brewery would pay the price. So much for any pretense that the project was about education of children! See and hear him for yourself at The authority has shifted its stalled fund raising to a private foundation, which it seeded with $98 thousand of public money.

So far Friends has saved the public $12 million, protected an historic natural area, prevented the falling of dozens of trees, and stopped the bulldozing of the Audubon Society-constructed nature center buildings.

Our campaign continues. Our website is