Santa Monica Airport2Park Foundation Formed


Anticipating the future closure of all or part of the Santa Monica Airport, Santa Monica Airport2Park Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit corporation, has been formed to advocate for building a great park on the airport land. The formation of the foundation comes after the November election when Santa Monica voters decisively rejected Measure D, an aviation industry initiative designed to stop any efforts to close or reduce flight operations at the airport, and overwhelmingly passed Measure LC, a measure that calls for replacing the airport with a park.

The president of the new foundation is Neil Carrey, who has long been a mainstay of the Santa Monica recreation and parks community, serving for 12 years on the Recreation and Parks Commission. Carrey was one of the leaders of the successful effort in the early 1990’s to turn non-aviation land at the airport into the current Airport Park after the City Council reversed plans for development there. The other members of the initial board of directors of the foundation are Michael Brodsky, John Fairweather, Frank Gruber, Cathy Larson, and Mike Salazar. These five, along with Carrey, served as the executive committee of Committee for Local Control of Santa Monica Airport Land, the organization that campaigned against Measure D and in favor of Measure LC.

“Now that the election is over, we can return to constructive efforts to build a park for the benefit of all,” said Carrey. “We have formed the foundation to be the catalyst for a citywide effort to turn the airport lands, as they become available, into a most wonderful park, one that will combine recreation, arts and culture with the restoration of natural habitat.” Carrey went on to say that, “The fact is that on July 1 of this year, when the City’s 1984 agreement with the FAA expires, the City will gain control of nearly 12 acres that currently serve aviation purposes. This land was classified in the 1984 Agreement as ‘non-aviation land,’ but has had to be used for aviation purposes because of other requirements in the 1984 agreement. Those requirements expire July 1, and we at the foundation will be advocating for the City to take immediate steps to make that land available for public use.”

Next steps for the foundation will be to form an advisory board and create committees to serve in such areas as community outreach, event planning, media relations and fund raising.

6 thoughts on “Santa Monica Airport2Park Foundation Formed

  1. The gardening community would really appreciate a botanical garden. Great cities have community driven gardens, with lots of volunteers. We really need a place like that here in Santa Monica, where residents will drive the garden, not the city. Here in Santa Monica, I feel the city has too much control over every aspect of our lives, including what gets planted where and who maintains it. A community led, native plant focused botanical garden would be great. We could even plan it like the one at UC Davis, where it fringes the airport and has a bike path through it.

    • My fear is that we will get a park on the airport lands AND very expensive high rise buildings
      where people can live and work. The city will claim that the development is needed to pay for the park!

      • Lorraine,
        That’s the wonderful thing about having got measure LC into the City charter. It is now absolutely impossible for the City to do any development on the land (other than parks) without going to a vote at an election to get approval from the electorate. That approval simply won’t happen for any unreasonable development, hence there is nothing to fear. It can only become a park or other low intensity use now unless the people decide otherwise, not the city.

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