Advocates of transforming Santa Monica Airport into a community park received an endorsement Monday from grassroots environmental agency Sierra Club.

“The Sierra Club believes that the replacement of SMO with a great park including land for hiking and restoration of native species would not only address public health needs, but would also offer very much needed open space to the west side of Los Angeles and Santa Monica area,” wrote David Haake, chairman of the organization’s West Los Angeles group.

Representatives of Airport2Park.org, a coalition of community groups and neighbors who are spearheading the initiative, announced they were thrilled with the first environmental endorsement of their monthlong campaign.

The push to transform the property began in April, when City Council directed staff to investigate the reclamation of the western-most 2,000 feet of SMO’s runway.

After July 1, 2015, when City Hall’s agreements with the Federal Aviation Administration and aviation tenants expire, the space could be reassigned. Officials with the FAA contend City Hall is required to operate SMO as is until at least 2023.

The Airport2Park.org coalition will hold a free public forum at 6 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, located at 1343 Ocean Park Blvd.

Residents are encouraged to come and share ideas for the project.

 

 

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