The Jim Hardie Memorial Fund for Coldwater Canyon Park

Jim Hardie, our longtime TreePeople champion, our amazing park director, and our dear mentor and friend, passed away on July 28, 2021.

Jim’s contributions to TreePeople’s 45-acre park and to our community are endless. His journey with TreePeople started when he was a volunteer nearly 40 years ago. He also joined our Board of Directors, oversaw the creation of the S. Mark Taper Foundation Amphitheatre, led the tree planting efforts to plant and care for over 300 trees on Martin Luther King Blvd in South Central Los Angeles, trained hundreds of community volunteers as Citizen Foresters, and dedicated his life to stewarding the most beautiful park in Los Angeles. There, Jim and his wife, Eileen Knight, along with the Actors Conservatory Ensemble (ACE), created TreePeople’s summer performance series, Once Upon a Canyon Night.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Amphitheatre at Coldwater Canyon Park

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Amphitheatre at TreePeople was one of Jim’s favorite parts of the park. He loved our summer series, he loved performing, and he loved seeing students and visitors alike enjoy the amphitheatre in its simplicity and beauty. He always took every opportunity, at the beginning of every performance, to share TreePeople’s mission to new and returning audiences alike.

This hidden gem in the hills is a beautiful outdoor resource for TreePeople’s neighbors, visitors, community members, and families to enjoy out in the woods and under the stars.

With your support, TreePeople will be able to maintain the amphitheatre year round and provide a space to educate and inspire the more than 200,000 individuals who visit the park each year, even offering use for daytime and nighttime activities and long-term donor engagement.

All of the many wonderful performances will continue in the amphitheatre, in addition to the special events and rental opportunities for personal celebrations — all because of Jim Hardie’s strength, goodwill and his tireless dedication to TreePeople everywhere.

The amphitheatre is currently closed for renovation and will reopen by Winter 2023.

About the Park

Coldwater Canyon Park is a 45-acre treasure nestled atop the Santa Monica Mountains.

Once the mountain outpost of the Los Angeles City Fire Department, it is now a favorite spot for recreation and quiet refuge for everyone in the region.

Coldwater Canyon Park is also home to TreePeople’s headquarters, our nursery, LEED-platinum conference center, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Amphitheatre, a 216,000 gallon rain-capture cistern, educational exhibits, miles of trails and precious native trees. Additionally, the park hosts school tours almost daily during the school year, which is part of TreePeople’s transformative environmental education work.

As a public park, Coldwater Canyon Park receives more than 200,000 visitors a year, but with almost no public funding…all general upkeep and support are the responsibility of TreePeople – and you!

You can also pitch in on park volunteer work days on Thursdays and occasional Saturdays throughout the year (remember to register!).