About South Brentwood
From the Brentwood News Centennial Edition Interview with past SBHA (now SBRA) president Bette Harris:
Question: What distinguishes South Brentwood from the rest of Brentwood?
The older homes in South Brentwood, built in the 1930’s and 40’s, have character and are varied in style. Mature trees and plantings abound. Sidewalks accommodate joggers, dog walkers and moms pushing strollers. More young residents seem to have taken up residence here.
Multifamily housing is more prominent east of South Bundy Drive, an area within walking distance to the cafes, restaurants and shops on San Vicente Blvd. on the north and Wilshire Blvd. on the south. The jogging path around the Brentwood Country Club attracts runners and walkers all hours of the day, especially early in the morning. The trees and open space provided by the golf course benefit air quality and produce a microclimate with refreshing air currents most notable to those who walk the perimeter.
The Sunday Farmers Market on South Gretna Green Way has something for everyone….food, music, fresh produce, flowers, handcrafted jewelry and gifts, even pony rides. Shopping in the Farmers Market is a regular part of the Sunday routine for many in the neighborhood – a favorite place to catch up with friends and neighbors.
Question: How strong is community spirit?
Very strong! Brentwood Green is a good example. About twelve years ago, Jackie Raymond, who was president of SBHA at the time (now SBRA), had a vision to provide the community with a much needed park, and also improve the Brentwood Science Magnet School (BSMS). She created the organization, Brentwood Green. Many generous donors liked the concept and got on board, effectively transforming BSMS from an asphalt eyesore to a lovely campus with a variety of trees and gardens. A joint use agreement allows the general public to use the facilities when school is not in session. Playground equipment, a grassy sports field, and a state of the art jogging path are especially popular features. Brentwood Green has brought folks together in the community with tree plantings and weeding socials.
I see strong spirit in the community when neighbors watch out for each other – when they take out trash barrels for those who are away or not well – when they check on the elderly – when they reach out to each other in times of personal tragedy.
Question: What are the benefits of living in South Brentwood in general?
We enjoy the amenities of city life with a close-knit village feel. Grocery stores and shops are nearby, yet nature abounds in our back yard. A riparian stream runs through the neighborhood attracting migratory birds and wildlife. The ocean is a few miles away. Nearby are grassy hills and hiking trails.
By Jackie Raymond
Brentwood Green is a school/community park, created by Brentwood residents to improve the playground and to provide a much needed park for the community. This park is used by the students during school and by the community after school, weekends & holidays.
Brentwood Green is the pride and joy of our entire community. The Brentwood Green Committee is comprised of volunteers who tend and protect the themed mini-gardens and grassy areas around the campus.
Brentwood Green became official when the committee wrote a joint use agreement with LAUSD, the YMCA, and Brentwood Green. With the approval of LAUSD, Brentwood Green was built. The YMCA puts up the money to hire people to clean up and supervise the park.
Thirteen years ago, the group that became Brentwood Green started to replace the seven acres of cracked asphalt on the playground of the Brentwood Science Magnet School (BSMS) with a community park.
TreePeople, the DWP, and LAUSD gave Brentwood Green a special “Cool Schools” grant. On January 23rd, 1999, more than 500 people attended our Groundbreaking/Tree Planting Ceremony planting 88 trees.
Brentwood Green earned a number of grants, including the prestigious Anne and Kirk Douglas Playground Equipment Grant. We planted over two hundred trees and created 15 mini-gardens. With the help of Prop BB funds, we created the infrastructure for air conditioning and irrigation. A jogging track around the perimeter of the athletic field, sponsored by a Matching Grant from L.A. City, won an Environmental Award from the City for using Recycled Tires.
Brentwood Green has become a model for educational beautification projects – locally, nationally and internationally. Several other schools have used Brentwood Green as a model.
Editor’s note: Brentwood Green was created by generous Brentwood residents who have volunteered both their time and their money. Tax deductible gifts to Brentwood Green are welcome! Send your check to:
Brentwood Green, 149 S. Barrington Ave., #149, L.A. CA 90049
Sponsorship is appreciated. Some options:
BRENTWOOD GREEN ADOPT A TREE
All the street trees surrounding BSMS on Gretna Green, San Vicente, Bundy and Montana are available for adoption. Large trees $2,000. Small trees $1,000. Donations will be recognized with permanent plaques. Gift will go to Maintenance Endowment Fund.
GATES TO THE PLAYGROUND AND PARK
We need sponsors for two new “Theme Entrances,” at the corner of San Vicente and Bundy and at the corner of San Vicente and Gretna Green. The entrances will announce the park and reach out to the community with an invitation to enter. These entrances will be monumental and dramatic in scale and visibility, with the use of trees and flowers mixed into the structure.
BRENTWOOD GREEN MAINTENANCE ENDOWMENT FUND
Gardens take constant care. Any gift is greatly appreciated.
Please contact Jackie Raymond, 310.820.2170 for more information.
Literary Garden Before & After
By Mike Feuer
On a warm March Saturday , dozens of Brentwood residents, student, teachers and community leaders gathered for the unveiling of a magical mural at Brentwood Magnet Elementary School. Artist and architect David Legaspi III depicted California landscapes along the playground and building walls, and engaged students in discussions about art and California history as the 2-month-long project unfolded. Brentwood Green, a volunteer group co-founded by my late friend Barbara Goldenberg and her able successor Jackie Raymond, was the dynamic force behind this project. The group rallied funds and supporters to continue efforts to beautify the campus. Past projects at the school have included planting redwood trees along the playground border and designing and constructing a Shakespeare Garden and a Poetry Garden. I was delighted to present certificates of appreciation to Mr. Legaspi and Brentwood Garden for their dedication to the school.
The Farmers Market
The Farmers Market, located on South Gretna Green Way between San Vicente Blvd. and Montana Ave., is open every Sunday 9:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. (rain or shine). The Farmers Market was started by Brentwood 90049, a non-profit led by Brentwood resident Nancy Freedman. Fresh fish, fruits, vegetables and other specialty items are shopper favorites. The market parallels the Safran Family Primary Yard and the Brentwood Green garden and field where the public is welcome. Shopping at the Farmers Market on Sunday and a visit to the Brentwood Green playground are great destinations for all ages. Judging by the many who stroll the market and visit the playground, it is very popular!