Welcome Home to Woodland Hills

Woodland Hills is a neighborhood bordering the Santa Monica Mountains in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California.

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The area was inhabited for around 8,000 years by Native Americans of the Fernandeño-Tataviam and Chumash-Venturaño tribes, who lived in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills and close to the Arroyo Calabasas (Calabasas Creek) tributary of the Los Angeles River in present-day Woodland Hills. The first Europeans to enter the San Fernando Valley were the Portola Expedition in 1769, exploring Alta California for Spanish mission and settlement locations. Seeing it from present-day Sepulveda Pass, the oak savanna inspired them to call the area El Valle de Santa Catalina de Bononia de Los Encinos (Valley of St. Catherine of Bononia of the Oaks). The Mission San Fernando Rey de España (Mission San Fernando) was established in 1797 and controlled the valley’s land, including future Woodland Hills.

Ownership of the southern half of the valley, south of present-day Roscoe Boulevard from Toluca Lake to Woodland Hills, by Americans began in the 1860s, first Isaac Lankershim (as the “San Fernando Farm Homestead Association”) in 1869, then Isaac Lankershim’s son, James Boon Lankershim, and Isaac Newton Van Nuys (as the “Los Angeles Farm & Milling Company”) in 1873, and finally in the “biggest land transaction ever recorded in Los Angeles County” a syndicate led by Harry Chandler of the Los Angeles Times with Hobart Johnstone Whitley, Gen. Moses Sherman, and others (as the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company) in 1910.

Victor Girard Kleinberger bought 2,886 acres (1,168 ha) in the area from Chandler’s group and founded the town of Girard in 1922. He sought to attract residents and businesses by developing an infrastructure, advertising in newspapers, and planting 120,000 trees. His 300 pepper trees formed a canopy over Canoga Ave. between Ventura Boulevard and Saltillo St. became Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #93 in 1972. The community of Girard was eventually incorporated into Los Angeles, and in 1945, it became known as Woodland Hills.

Within the San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills experiences some of the more extreme temperature changes season to season than other regions. During the summer, temperatures are often very hot, while during the winter, overnight temperatures are among the coldest of the region. On September 6, 2020, Woodland Hills recorded the highest temperature ever in Los Angeles County, hitting 121 °F (49 °C) at Pierce College, tying with Chino’s reading as the highest temperature ever recorded west of the mountains in Southern California. The climate is classified as a Csa in the Köppen climate classification, which is characterized by mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. This climate is often referred to as Mediterranean. Precipitation in Woodland Hills averages much the same as most other regions of the west San Fernando Valley, although somewhat higher amounts of rainfall occur in the surrounding hills.

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Public schools serving Woodland Hills are under the jurisdiction the Los Angeles Unified School District. Much of the area is within Board District 4.

Elementary schools include:

  • Calabash Street Elementary School
  • Lockhurst Elementary School
  • Serrania Elementary School
  • Woodlake Avenue Elementary School
  • Woodland Hills Charter for Enriched Studies
  • Ivy Academia Entrepreneurial Charter School
  • Calvert Street Elementary School

Middle schools include:

  • Woodland Hills Charter Academy (formerly known as Parkman Middle School)
    • The school opened in 1959 as “Parkman Junior High School.” It received its current name in 2006.
  • George Ellery Hale Charter Academy

High schools include:

  • El Camino Real High School
  • William Howard Taft High School
  • Henry David Thoreau Continuation High School

Adult School:

  • West Valley Occupational Center, 6200 Winnetka Avenue

Charter schools

  • El Camino Real High School
  • William Howard Taft High School
  • Ingenium Charter School – Kindergarten through Sixth Grade
  • George Ellery Hale Charter Academy 6–8 grade
  • Chime Charter School K-8
  • Serrania Charter for Enriched Studies – K-5
  • Calvert School for Enriched Studies – K-5

Private schools

  • The Alexandria Academy – secular school serving First through Twelfth Grade
  • Halsey Schools – 6 weeks – 6 years.
  • Louisville High School – All-female Catholic High School
  • St. Bernardine of Siena – preschool through Eighth Grade
  • St. Mel – preschool through Eighth Grade
  • Woodland Hills Private School – serving Preschool (starting at 2 years old) through Fifth Grade.

Lycée International de Los Angeles had a Woodland Hills campus, which had over 140 students as of 2001. This was in a public school building, rented from the Los Angeles Unified School District. In 2001 LAUSD announced that it would not renew the lease.

Lycée Français de Los Angeles operated a San Fernando Valley campus in Woodland Hills, on the site of Platt Elementary School.

Colleges and universities

Colleges and universities in Woodland Hills include:

  • Los Angeles Pierce College (part of the Los Angeles Community College District)

Public libraries

The Los Angeles Public Library operates the Woodland Hills Branch Library (Ventura Boulevard) and the Platt Branch Library (Victory Boulevard) in Woodland Hills.

Woodland Hills is home to the Woodland Hills Country Club, a private equity golf club. The country club is complete with golf course, fine dining, and entertainment options.

The Woodland Hills Recreation Center (Shoup Park) is a 19-acre (7.7 ha) park in Woodland Hills. The park has a small indoor gymnasium without weights and with a capacity of 300; it may be used as an auditorium. The park also has a lighted baseball diamond, outdoor lighted basketball courts, a children’s play area, a lighted football field, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, and lighted tennis courts. Woodland Hills Pool is an outdoor seasonal unheated swimming pool.

The Warner Center Park, also known as Warner Ranch Park, is located in Woodland Hills. The park, unstaffed and unlocked, has a children’s play area and picnic tables. Serrania Park in Woodland Hills is an unstaffed, unlocked pocket park. It has a children’s play area, hiking trails, and picnic tables. Alizondo Drive Park in Woodland Hills is an unstaffed, unlocked, and undeveloped park used for brush clearance once per year.

Along the western boundary of Woodland Hills is the large Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, a regional park with a trail network for miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian rides. The trailhead and parking are at the very western end of Victory Boulevard in Woodland Hills. Scheduled walks and programs are offered. The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has various parks nearby to the south of the community. The Top of Topanga Overlook gives panoramic views of the verdant Woodland Hills neighborhoods and the Valley.

Content Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Living in Woodland Hills

Local Schools

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