Angeles National Golf Club Takes a Walk with the STA

Earlier today, We met up with Matt Bennett, the Projects & Mitigation director for ANGC. We have been in contact over the last few weeks regarding the homeless camps in the Wash and the large amount of trash that is accumulating there.

We had decided that a hike through the area would be a good way for us to compare notes on the camps and discuss possible ways of dealing with the problem.

Our first stop was Margret’s camp, which is actually several camps that lie out in the open and are basically trash debris sites located near each other. Margret, who suffers severe mental health issues, routinely moves from one camp to another. She was there sleeping.

We then moved on to another known camp that had been cleaned out a few weeks ago and found that the previous occupant had returned.
We visited a few other camps as well that are either new or have been reoccupied.

The homeless problem is difficult to resolve for so many reasons. Most of the homeless in the Wash refuse to accept help from the Housing Authority or the many agencies/charities that exist. When the homeless are moved out of the Wash, they just return as soon as the next day, or move into other areas. Really, the best anyone can do is to try and keep a regular schedule of cleaning out the trash and the camps so that the damage is somewhat contained.

Matt explained that ANGC is planning another clean out within a couple of weeks. They have to coordinate with the LAPD, the Housing Authority, the Bureau of Sanitation, CD2, and other agencies each and every time they undertake a clean out. They also will be bringing along a biologist to assess the status of the endangered spineflowers that grow in the Wash.

Matt also said that the ANGC is likely just a few weeks away from turning this area over to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
Hopefully, the SMMC will have less hoops to jump through in order to restore the Wash and deal with the camps. At our suggestion, the ANGC is going to attempt weekly clean outs until such time as the property is transferred over to SMMC. The hope is that if the Wash is clean when the property changes hands, then the SMMC will see the standard by which the community expects the area to be maintained.

We hope to attend each clean-out so we can post photos of the tremendous amount of work involved and keep you posted on the conditions in the Wash.

Our thanks to Matt Bennett for his generous and well spent time today.

Leave a comment


  1. Excellent work! I don’t go down there with my dogs anymore because of the amount of broken glass and human feces lying everywhere. That woman, Margaret, is a sad, sad case. I see her almost every day walking down Oro Vista with that large Teddy Bear she always carries. However, she is also the main problem in terms of trash and contamination of the Wash. She is causing so much damage to that natural area and really needs to be taken to a facility by her family where she can receive supervision and care. Does anyone know how to contact her family?

  2. Anonymous

     /  Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Really great to hear this! Thank you STA for doing what you guys do best- looking out for S-T! I am going to the wash in the morning to do my own assessment, so I can contrast the change once the golf course does their next clean-up. Thanks again!

  3. Elaine Brown

     /  Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    As STA knows, I have been involved with the STNC, the LUC and the Riverwood Ranch for years attempting to get the ANGC to meet their 72 conditions and 233 mitigations so that the transfer of the preserve can be accomplished as well as making absolutely sure that these conditions/mitigations are completed.

    When it comes to the homeless problems in the preserve area of the wash, there are far reaching effects caused by a sweep of the homeless camps located there. When the sweep is completed, we do not lose these homeless – they just move. Many homeless locate to the east of the wash both in and outside of the wash. Others move throughout the urban areas, particularly in Tujunga.

    The City of Los Angeles has been moving the indigent transcients and the homeless from downtown to the suburbs for several years now. I personally believe that the city should take responsibility for these people and that the vast majority of services for the homeless are located in the downtown area where they should stay.

    Do you remember the Homeless Meeting that took place five or six years ago at the NVCH when we were told that the city would eliminate the homeless problem within ten years through those efforts? Well, so much for those promises.

    Perhaps it is time for the local community to hold some brainstorming meetings as to what can be done to permanently rid ourselves of future homelessness in our area or determine if that is even possible. Frankly, I hold little hope.

  4. Kris Sabo

     /  Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Excellent work, Joe at al.

    The only way to keep up with this one single issue – the homeless – is to ride shotgun on it constantly. … That is hard.

    As for the other mitigation issues, I still have no answer

  5. Pat C

     /  Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Thanks for giving us this data. We live not far from the wash – just off Foothill. Having just moved here from San Jose I was appalled at the amount of homeless in the area. They come by our area routinely to rummage through the recycleable bin. They did it boldly in front of a friend I had visiting.

    I do not agree with “the best anyone can do is to try and keep a regular schedule of cleaning out the trash and the camp”. If you or I made a mess you would expect us to clean up after ourselves.

    We have taken to walking. The wash hat a beautiful area if you ignor the trash. I would like to see that looking great.

    We also walk at night after 9pm over to Sunland Park and while there are many people playing some type of ball the homeless are staking out their tables for the night or drinking in public.

    I am very interested in the plan that is developed to handle this problem.

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