|John Zavalney, who runs the center, feeds Peaches, a 32-year-old Shetland pony.|
|Alma Bruhnke, 6, leads Buttercup.|
Same with her friends -- a laundry list of rescued, injured or confiscated animals – that had come to reside at the center before its threatened demise. It was one of the first places targeted for closure during ugly budget cut battles still ongoing in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Instead of dirt and weeds, turkeys trot across the lawn. Geese cackle out screeches and honks. Stray cats slink around having found a safe haven there. The goats bray. And large turtles dip in and out of ponds.
Monthly Tongva languages classes now take place to keep the native American language alive and the Indians are now a large part of the site’s future – tending to a prayer circle and all the Native plants on the site.
|Polynesian style planting of zucchini and other squash.|
|Pastor Etepati Panama (middle) of First Samoan Christian Church of Harbor City with Ernie P.Enesi, left and Malotumau Leiato planting tarot.|
|Elizabeth Rodriguez, 17, of the Port of Los Angeles High School with a friend from Dodson Middle School|
|Angel Rodriguez, 14, left, Christian Rodriguez 15, of South High School, plant tomatoes to be sold to a restaurant to help sustain the center.|
The center’s savior: collaboration.
The Department of Water and Power agreed to pay Zavalney’s salary
through the district. Plots of land were opened to schools and other groups to use and grow vegetables (Plots are still available.)
some of the center’s dreary buildings. The interiors went from a drab, chipped and dirty beige to a colorful array of murals done by volunteers, including artists.
|Silkworms used as reptile food.|
|A confiscated chameleon that was taken illegally from wild.|
|If it hadn't been for partnering Lucy, the iguana, would have lost her home.|
|One of the murals done through ShareFest, a non-profit organization.|
|Kitten the staff rescued and needs a home.|
|Zalvaney holds turkey and stands next to David Kooper, chief of staff for LAUSD board member Vladovic|
Located at 2201 Barrywood Avenue in San Pedro, the center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 Monday through Friday and can be visited by the public at anytime during those hours. Visitors are asked to get permission to feed the animals as many are on a restrictive diet. For more information, call (310)-832-7573.