the occasion with a photographic exhibit tracing the department's
history beginning Sept. 17 at the Creative Arts Center.
"The pictures are really interesting," department Director Eric
Hansen said. "As you look at them, you recognize areas, yet you don't
recognize them. There are mature trees in one area or the building of
new structure in another area."
For the past year, Deputy Director Gwen Indermill did historical
research for articles spotlighting the people, parks and programs
from the past 80 years which were published in the department's
Combing city records and with help from the Burbank Historical
Society, the Los Angeles Public Library and the San Diego Historical
Society, Indermill learned about Vickroy and two other early
supporters of the park department who donated land that bears their
names: Oliver Stough and Joseph DeBell.
Stough, who owned much of the land that now makes up the Hillside
District in the northeastern part of the city, was a veteran of the
Mexican-American War who later retired to San Diego, Indermill said.
"He was one of the early philanthropists in California," Indermill
Park property would also be purchased by the city and named after
city officials -- such as George Izay and James McCambridge -- or
prominent businessmen, such as Robert Gross, a founder of Lockheed.
As the department expanded the property under its care, it adapted
to what activities and programs the public was interested in, Hansen
"When you have people enjoying the hills and hiking that evolves
into the [Stough Canyon] nature center and then becomes a hub of the
offerings up there," Hansen said.
The department now oversees 41 parks and facilities, such as the
Stough Canyon Nature Center and the Starlight Bowl outdoor concert
venue as well as the DeBell Golf Course.
No one knows better how the department met the needs of the
residents than Barbara Rownd, a 33-year department employee, who
retired in 1983 as a key figure in ensuring that girls and women had
In 1957, Rownd founded the Ponytail Softball League with six
teams. A year later the program expanded to 22 teams, showing that
there was a need, said Rownd, who was inducted into the Burbank
Athletics Walk of Fame in 2004.
"We had great facilities in that all the baseball diamonds were
all in place," Rownd said. "The boys had to learn to share. It wasn't
always an easy transition because they used a lot of the facilities."
The programs the department offers are wonderful, Rownd said, and
do a lot for keeping, children, adults and seniors active.
The photo exhibit will be on display at the Creative Arts Center
through the end of the month.
WHAT: Burbank Park Recreation and Community Services Department
WHEN: Begins Sept. 17
WHERE: Creative Arts Center, 1100 W. Clark St., Burbank.
CONTACT: Park and Recreation Department, (818) 238-5300.