Dedicated to the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains and Simi Hills
A Non-Profit 501(c)(4) Incorporated Nov.30,1971                 Founded Nov.20,1970
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SSMPA Newsletter
Spring 2018 (April)
In this issue
Community Meetings are free to SSMPA Members and the Public.
Recent: Monday, April 16, 2018   

 Betina's Backyard Butterfly Garden

Presenter: Betina Loudermilk
Betina  Loudermilk has always loved nature and being outside, hiking or exploring nature centers. When she got her own home she insisted that her back yard would be beneficial to the nature around her. She built a pollinator garden with a focus on butterflies.
Betina's love of nature and of teaching led her to educate others about the importance of planting native plants for butterflies and of seeing what else comes to visit.
Over the past 3 years Betina's garden has grown and she has made many presentations sharing what she has learned about butterflies and native plants - especially how important insects are for the entire food chain.
Come see and hear Betina explain in person at SSMPA's Community Meeting, Monday April 16 at Chatsworth Park South
See Betina's Facebook page, Betinas Butterfly Garden.


Monday, May 21, 2018     7:00pm - 8:30pm
  at Chatsworth Park South Recreation Center
22360 Devonshire St.  (west end of Devonshire)
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Convenient parking in lighted lot
Backyard Wildlife and Deterrents

Presenter:  Dana Stangel

Dana Stangel founded and is the Executive Director of Los Angeles wildlife education organization:  Teranga Ranch. She is a former Biology teacher, MOMS Club President, and CERT Volunteer. She volunteered at a local animal sanctuary for almost 20 years, leading their Ambassador Wolf Team and Volunteer Education Program. 

Dana continues to serve her community as Wildlife Representative for Shadow Hills Property Owners Association, Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council Animal Issues Committee Founder and Co-Chair, Founder and Co-Administrator of the Sunland Tujunga Animal Lost and Found, Wildlife Columnist for the local newspaper (The Foothill Record) and as President of the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council.

SSMPA Supports Proposition 68

 Parks, Environment, and Water Bond 

On the California ballot for the June 5, 2018 election

  Coastal Live Oak Seedlings Project
Sky Valley Volunteers - A New Offshoot of SSMPA

SSMPA Board Members  John Luker  and  Wendi Gladstone  are spearheading a  Coastal Live Oak Seedlings Project for 2018 -2021 .  They began gathering acorns in August of 2017 with volunteer helpers, working in Dayton Canyon, Orcutt Ranch, at Sky Valley (former SSFL) and Sage Ranch.
All 25 pounds of acorns gathered come from the Simi Hills, and are genetically adapted for the microclimates of that area. Generating oak trees involves a process called "stratification". Stratification is using cool, wet soil medium and a refrigerator to fool the acorn into thinking it's spring and time to germinate. The process takes 4-6 weeks from germination to putting the plant in the ground.
The acorns John and Wendi have collected have resulted in about 2000 viable seedlings, which they have nurtured and are now planting.  Some areas targeted for planting are Dayton Canyon, Sage Ranch, and the Southern Buffer Zone in Sky Valley.

This project was born out of the awareness that many species of our native trees in California are suffering, due to the long-term drought, and the pests that subsequently attack the affected trees. 
Reforestation  projects such as these are critical!

Cub Scouts from Pack 466 ready to plant their oak seedlings at Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park

Here is a recent message from Wendi:

Interest in Oak Tree Planting is growing!  We want to thank ALL of you who came out Saturday April 14th to assist with potting germinated  acorns and/or planting trees at the Andora entrance to  Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park.

What an incredible day!  We potted 107  acorns with your help.  

Then we headed to the Andora entrance of the State Historic Park in Chatsworth  where Cub Scout Pack 466 joined us.  The kids were so enthusiastic.  We put 16 trees into the ground.   

The Sky Valley Volunteers now has a relationship with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Boeing Company, California State Parks, TreePeople and Oakwood Mortuary, to name a few.

John and I continue to be invited to speak at many  organizations, with the San Fernando Valley Sierra Club and Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church upcoming in May.

With your continued support we can reforest our devastated, drought-stricken mountains. We water weekly, currently on Thursdays, and when the summer heats up we will add Mondays.

Thank you ALL once again for your interest and desire to give back to our Planet.  

See more about Sky Valley Vounteers  here , here , and  here .

   If you are interested in volunteering, please contact John Luker at , or Wendi Gladstone at .
Chatsworth Nature Preserve Earth Day Open House
Saturday, April 7th, 2018
The City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Santa Susana Mountain Park Association hosted this year's Annual Chatsworth Nature Preserve Earth Day Open House on Saturday, April 7, 2018. 
This year more than 1,500 attendees were able  to see the only designated Nature Preserve in the City of Los Angeles (open to the public only one day a year in celebration of Earth Day) with dozens of interactive exhibits and guided hikes around the Ecology Pond.
  Sharon Shingai, Director-At-Large with the Santa Susana Mountain Park Association, is the Organizer of this terrifically successful annual event.

Thank you, Sharon! And thank you to dozens of volunteers from many local conservation and ecology organizations who worked to provide this unique community experience.
And of course there would be no Open House without the consent and generously-provided resources of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

See  DWP's summary of the Open House HERE  

Save the date for next year's Nature Preserve Open House:  Saturday April 6, 2019

C ommunity organizations of the West Valley have called for a
risk-based cleanup  (not "background") at Santa Susana Field Lab
Chatsworth Neighborhood Council

West Hills Neighborhood Council

Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council

Canoga Park Neighborhood Council

Chatsworth Community Coordinating Council (CCCC)

Santa Susana Mountain Park Association (SSMPA)

Lake Manor Citizens Committee Rural Town Council

SSMPA Calls for Cleanup at Rocketdyne
      • A Cleanup that Does More Good than Harm
      • A Cleanup that Protects Our Surrounding Communities
      • A Cleanup that Preserves SSFL's Natural Habit and Wildlife
      • A Cleanup that Is "Doable" and Affordable

Information on local hikes is available via the following links:
Welcome Walks:  Interpretive hikes in the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park (SSPSHP):  Facebook: Friends of the Santa Susana Mountains   &

SSPSHP Volunteer Hikes: Contact: Jennifer Dandurand, park interpretive specialist, Los Encinos SHP: 818.784.4849;
Rancho Simi Trail Blazers:
SFV Audubon:  Meetings and Bird Walks for families
Hiking and Event Updates:
SSMPA logo
SSMPA Mission 


SSMPA's mission is to preserve and protect the Simi Hills, Santa Susana Mountains, and regional open space.


Join Our Board of Directors?
We have eleven Directors on our board. Our by-laws allow for up to fifteen Directors.
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Do you support conservation?
Open space? Parks and parkland?

If you want to learn more about the possibility of joining our board, please drop a message at No obligation. Confidential.

membershipOne Cat's Advice

We gratefully accept your new membership, renewals, donations all year round!
If a mountain lion can cross the 101 and the 118,
the least we all can do is become members of SSMPA.

Please click HERE  to start or renew your membership by  credit card
or fill in the membership form below and mail it to us. 

Your membership (new and renewal) and donations help SSMPA efforts and continued success in providing free community meetings; advocacy for open space/nature preserves; keeping or reopening local parks; acquiring easement land parcels to protect native plants and habitat, wildlife corridors and park space; environmental educational opportunities; preservation of Chatsworth's and the surrounding area's historical, cultural, and archaeological sites. 

  If you do want to not receive your newsletter via e-mail and must receive it by snail mail, please send an additional $10.00. If you have moved, please be sure to let us know your new address. 
THANK YOU for your recent New Lifetime Memberships:
Richard & Karen Dow, Steve & Pam Finley 

THANK YOU for your recent New Annual Memberships:
Michelle Franks, Hazel Stedman

And THANK ALL OF YOU loyal members who have recently renewed your SSMPA Membership 

Sign up for a LIFE MEMBERSHIP and/or a DONATION OF $50.00 and receive a FREE 
"Cotton Blend Cool" T-shirt with a Chumash-inspired design
Let us know your size when you mail in your check,
or send an email to if you pay online.
Membership dues:
( ) $20.00 for individuals
( ) $25.00 for a family
( ) $30.00 for a business or organization
( ) $150.00 for Individual Life Membership
( ) $200.00 for a Family Life Membership
Make your check payable to SSMPA and mail to:
SSMPA, P.O. Box 4831, Chatsworth, CA 91313-4831   
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Names___________________________________ E-mail_____________________

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Thank you!
BODLIST2018 / 2019 SSMPA Board of Directors 
President: Tom Nachtrab 
Vice President: Wendi Gladstone
Treasurer: Teena Takata
Recording Secretary: Donna Nachtrab
Director-at-Large: Robert "Bob" Dager
Director-at-Large: Warren Stone
Director-at-Large: John Luker
Director-at-Large: Sharon Shingai
Director-at-Large: Darlene Brothers-Wageman
Director-at-Large: Dean Wageman