For 75 years the Griffith Park Pony Rides were a cornerstone of the neighborhood, offering children a unique opportunity to engage with horses. The rides did not put a strain on wallets, allowing children from all income levels to participate in this low-cost family activity. However, at the end of last year, following a motion my office introduced to inspect the safety of the Pony Ride site, the inspection determined the ponies were not being properly cared for, the Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) elected not to continue the concession agreement with the contractor long in charge of overseeing the pony rides.

The City is now in the process of re-imagining the future uses of the Griffith Park Pony Ride site. 

This is an exciting opportunity to think about how we provide meaningful and modernized experiences for children to interact with animals, and do so in a way that centers equity and accessibility! 

RAP has hired the consulting firm PlaceWorks to conduct public engagement and perform other related tasks to provide the RAP Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners and the City Council with information for decision making on the potential future uses. These include consideration of recreational, cultural and educational activities, including animal experiences.

Working together, our office and RAP have identified several characteristics as key considerations to serve as guidelines for the future use of the site. Our top priority is to ensure that the Pony Ride site offers activities that are:

  • Youth and Family-oriented
  • Affordable and Accessible (for all ages and abilities)
  • Educational 
  • And, most importantly, fun!

The public engagement process will include a public survey, focus group meetings, an opinion poll of a random sampling of Los Angeles residents, pop-up engagement events and community workshops. At the end of the public input process, a final report will be shared with the public, the RAP Board and City Council, compiling all community feedback, research, and options for consideration.

The first public workshop is expected to be held in November and we will update this post with the exact date as soon as it’s available! For more information on the community engagement process, the plan to reimagine the Griffith Park Pony Ride site and how you can provide input, click HERE.

Our office firmly believes that Griffith Park is in need of affordable amenities that let families connect with nature and with animals in a way that is safe and healthy for both children and animals. Together, we will work to bring this space back to life with a fun, family-friendly, accessible, and educational site, centering engagement with animals for young Angelenos from across the city.