Holy Mother Nature, Batman! Griffith Park Gets Bigger Near The Batcave

FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 27, 1989 file photo, actors Adam West, left, and Burt Ward, dressed as Batman and Robin, pose for a photo at the "World of Wheels" custom car show in Chicago. (Mark Elias/AP)

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We aren't Batman, so we can't visit the Batcave (also because it's not real). But it is possible for us to visit the Bronson Caves section of Griffith Park, which the 1960s Batman TV show used as its Batcave entrance. And now there's going to be a little more park near there to enjoy.

"It's a de-facto extension of Griffith Park's borders," Friends of Griffith Park President Gerry Hans told LAist.

HOW TO ADD AN ACRE TO GRIFFITH PARK

Holy hillside trees, Batman! (Courtesy Friends of Griffith Park)

The Friends of Griffith Park preservation group worked with local community groups, individuals, and Councilmember David Ryu to purchase two undeveloped lots just outside the park's Bronson Canyon entrance near the Batcave.

"When this pandemic is over, Los Angeles will have an even bigger and better Griffith Park to return to," Ryu said in a statement.


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It's an acre-and-a-quarter hillside that includes California sycamores, coast live oak trees, and is home to a variety of wildlife — right by the Batcave. The coast live oaks are around 200 years old, Hans said, and both types of trees are protected under the L.A. protected tree ordinance.

The newly acquired land will be by held and preserved in perpetuity by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to keep it from being developed.

"This hillside is a beautiful gateway to Griffith Park," local resident Jason Greenwald said in a press release — he helped to spearhead the deal. "Now we have a chance to keep it that way — forever."

SCOOPING UP WHAT DEVELOPERS MISSED

More Griffith Park, coming soon. (Courtesy Friends of Griffith Park)

Developers did try buying the land in the past, according to Friends of Griffith Park, but that deal fell through.

"I've lived in the area for 34 years, and I've always known that these parcels would be a great way to expand Griffith Park," Hans said.

Then the land came back on the market last summer — with an asking price of $1.15 million.

"We started thinking harder — at that number, we figured it was pretty tough to reach, but that's when we started talking," Hans said.

Now it's being purchased for $500,000.

They raised $465,000 by late April, keeping things quiet to make sure nothing interfered with the deal. Then they turned to the public to help them close the gap by last Friday. They exceeded their goal and are in the process of securing the land now — escrow on the deal is set to close Friday.

"We overshot our fundraising goal — I mean, we just shot through it," Hans said. "We're just so amazed that, during the COVID times, with so much financial pressure that people are seeing, hardships, that it went so smoothly."

The additional funds are being used to help pay for annual maintenance.

LOOKING, NOT WALKING

The street near the land being preserved near Griffith Park. (Courtesy Friends of Griffith Park)

The hilly nature of this land means it's not an area people will likely want to walk on, Hans said.

"When you have trails just ahead into Griffith Park, there's no reason to go up this steep slope," Hans said. "It provides great habitat for the wildlife, birds and everything else. It's basically something to look at."

He said that without all the cars, the wildlife in the park has started to get closer to the roads, and that bird behavior changed without noisy tour helicopters going past the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Observatory.

With Griffith Park trails opening back up, Hans hopes that they're able to stay open, with people wearing face masks and observing social distancing.

"We're advocates for access to parks, and as long as it's safe, we want it open," Hans said.

The wildlife in the park has started to get closer to the roads due to the lack of cars, Hans said, and bird behavior started to change without noisy tour helicopters going past the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Observatory.

So enjoy. You now have an extra acre to respectfully observe wildlife/socially distance yourself from others/take in the natural beauty of Griffith Park/conceal the entrance to your secret lair.