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Restoring a sanctuary in Griffith Park

The once-exotic Fern Dell has deteriorated into a tangled, neglected patch of L.A.'s large urban park. Now a nonprofit group has pledged to restore its past glory.

February 20, 2012
(Francine Orr / Los…)

Los Angeles city dwellers once enjoyed a sanctuary of gnarled oaks, serene pools and exotic ferns on Griffith Park's southwestern edge. But four decades of neglect have left the 20-acre Fern Dell retreat a shabby relic of its former self, which is why a band of park lovers is now trying to restore it to its early Hollywood heyday.

"Fern Dell is in pretty bad shape, but it is not too late to save it," said Bernadette Soter, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Friends of Griffith Park.

The volunteer group has launched a campaign to rejuvenate the 95-year-old stream-fed garden spot, restoring its 17 footbridges, ripping out thickets of invasive ivy and bamboo, and beefing up security.

PHOTOS: Restoring Fern Dell

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