A Quarter Century of Service to Veterans and the Community
The Veterans Park Conservancy is proud of its long-held tradition of honor and respect for our Veterans. Our mission has remained constant for 29 years: to protect, preserve and enhance the open space of the West Los Angeles VA property—creating a restorative and healing environment.
1986 – Veterans Park Conservancy (VPC), successor to “Save the Land Committee”, is founded to protect the integrity of lands which comprise the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center (WLA VA) , originally established in 1888 as the Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Veterans;
15,000 citizens respond to VPC’s initial call for action, in an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times;
Heeding VPC’s call, Senator Pete Wilson calls for moratorium on sales of land at West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center (WLA VA) and the adjoining Army Reserve Center.
1988 – With support from VPC, Senator Alan Cranston secures enactment of P.L. 100-322 (“Cranston Act”) to prohibit sale of 109 acres at WLA VA, which had been proposed for sale by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
1988-1989 – VPC sponsors Summer Concerts on the Green, for enjoyment of veterans, their families and the community.
1991 – Cranston Act amended (P.L. 102-86) to prohibit long-term lease of WLA VA land for hotel development.
1992 – VPC recommends to Secretary Principi that the Veterans Administration include a plan for “Preservation and Development of Open Space” in its WLA VA Facilities Development Plan.
1994 – VPC spearheads the “Friends of Veterans Park”, to successfully
oppose development of a football stadium at WLA VA.
VPC gets approval for a section of Wilshire Boulevard between, Veterans Avenue and San Vicente and Federal Boulevard, to be designated as “Veterans Parkway”.
1995 – Through a gift from the J. Paul Getty Trust, the VPC was able to sponsor the planning and design work for the transformation of the Veterans Parkway, a half-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard bounded by the sites of three Federal agencies: Department of Defense, General Services Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
1997 – Veterans Affairs Secretary Hershel Gober signs a Memorandum of Understanding with VPC, establishing a partnership for improvements on the WLA VA campus.
1998 – VPC raises $1.0 million from private donors and members of the public to restore Spanish American War Memorial Plaza, at intersection of Veterans Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard.
2000 – VPC raises $2.0 million from private donors and members of the community for improvements at Los Angeles National Veterans Cemetery, including entrance pilasters, decorative wrought iron fencing and planted 600 trees along Veterans Avenue, Sepulveda Avenue and Veterans Parkway.
VPC and the public resisted the installation of a digital electronic sign near the 405 –Freeway to be rented out to advertisers. VA Secretary Hershel Gober accepts recommendation to identify the entrances to the VA campus (along Veterans Parkway) with four, gigantic American Flags raised on pilasters and illuminated at night.
2001 – VPC, with the support of Los Angeles County, plants 55 trees in the median of Veterans Parkway, and establishes a “Parkway of American Banners” to honor victims of 9/11.
2002 – On the occasion of his 99th birthday, the chapel at the Los Angeles National Veterans Cemetery is designated by Congress as the “Bob Hope Veterans Chapel” with help from VPC.
2005 – VPC raises $1.3 million from private donors to enhance the symbolic landmark plaza and add decorative wrought iron fencing and pilasters along the perimeter at the northwest corner of San Vicente and Wilshire Boulevards.
2007 – VPC and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) sign a 20-year Enhanced Sharing Agreement for development of Los Angeles National Veterans Park on 16-acre site at WLA VA.
2010 – The National Park Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs initiate “Discover Our Shared Heritage” program, and identify Pacific Branch as one of 11 noteworthy branches of National Homes for Disabled American Veterans; VPC is invited to adopt historic themes, and to provide interpretative services.
2011 – VPC raises over $1 million from private donors and members of the public to complete first project of Los Angeles National Veterans Park, the Historic Women Veterans Rose Garden. The WLA VA incorporates the restored garden into its alternative therapy program.
DVA releases 25-year Master Plan, affirming significance of open space and historic structures, and endorsing partnership with VPC for development of the Los Angeles National Veterans Park.
2015 – The Hollywood Canteen Healing Center when completed will be used for creative writing and poetry, music and performance art, and many opportunities for veterans to heal outside the confines of a hospital setting.