Monte Verde Park
The S. Mark Taper Vista Lodge, nature trail and amphitheater facility on the west side of the river make up the sum of the natural beauty of Lakewood's Monte Verde Park. It just might be considered a “jewel” of Lakewood park facilities.
It features the S. Mark Taper Foundation Vista Lodge, (above) a 3,000 square-foot reinterpretation of a classic mountain lodge with exposed beams, "great room" with a fireplace and a wall of windows that provides a panoramic view of the park and covered patio. Beyond this is a landscaped amphitheater and fire ring.
A quarter-mile-long nature trail loops around the perimeter of the park, creating a voyage through several ecosystems representing elements of the native California landscape: an oak grove, a dry creek and a fern dell. The site also offers a landscaped amphitheater and fire ring.
Other site improvements include the remodeling of the barbecue/picnic area, accessibility, and improved facility access.
Lakewood Residents: $35 per hour
Non-residents: $72 per hour
Processing Fee: $20
Capacity: 120 persons
(Room: 80 persons, Patio: 40 persons)
Location: 4626 N. Shadeway Road
562-866-9771, extension 2497
Monte Verde Park Profile Video
The Monte Verde Story
Monte Verde Park began as a four-acre park in 1971. The park's 675-square-foot, one-room building consisted of a small meeting area with a modest kitchen facility. Detached, open-air restrooms provided only basic accommodations. No wonder the city called it "rustic!"
But kids enjoyed it. Over the years, the city expanded park programs to include overnight camping, summer vacation day camp programs, and special recreation classes. The park has also been "home" to a variety of community groups, including scouting organizations who used it for events and camping activities, school districts, and families who reserved the facility for private use.
Each year, over 10,000 people use Monte Verde Park. "There are very few parks like Monte Verde in the region that offer such a variety of outdoor experiences and camping opportunities in a city setting," notes Lisa Litzinger, who heads the city's Recreation and Community Services Department.
"This unique facility also provides a setting that promotes respect and an understanding of nature and the environment. Its natural, open space gives a feeling of the great outdoors, which is difficult to find in our highly developed area. Parks such as Monte Verde are in great demand and in short supply. Keeping this park preserved for the community is a priority for Lakewood."
Despite its heavy use, the park had not been refurbished since 1977. Monte Verde Park was in need of more than a coat of paint. "We had a dream of modernizing the activity building and making numerous site improvements," adds Litzinger. "Securing the funding was the next step."
With the support of the state park funds, a major grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation, and grant funds from the L.A. County 1996 Park Bond Act, Monte Verde Park's rebirth began. After a year-long process, Monte Verde Park reopened in the summer of 2001.
Monte Verde Park Reservations
The natural beauty of Monte Verde Park and the outstanding facilities of the S. Mark Taper Vista Lodge can be reserved for community and family use through the Recreation and Community Services Department. There are resident and non-resident rental fees.
No alcohol is permitted in Monte Verde Park or any other Lakewood park facility.
Monte Verde Park Features:
- 120-person maximum capacity
- Parking for a maximum of 94 cars
- Amphitheater with a fire ring, pergola backdrop, and tiered seating
- Picnic and barbecue area with benches and tables, 2 barbecue grills
- 1/4 mile nature trail with three ecosystems
S. Mark Taper Vista Lodge Features:
- 80-person capacity for dining
- 120-person capacity for assemblies
- PA and lectern available
- TV, Video, CD, and tape system
- Sink and food staging/serving area