Councilman LaBonge, the Trust for Public Land, LA Inc. and members of the community made the trek to the peak near the Hollywood Sign to unveil a boulder and a plaque commemorating the acquisition of 138-acres of Cahuenga Peak to add to Griffith Park. The area includes a new trail-head, named the "Aileen Getty Ridge Trail", which knife-edges its way west from the Hollywood Sign on Mt. Lee to Cahuenga Peak and then on to Burbank Peak. The event culminates a decade-long effort to purchase Cahuenga Peak to protect the land from development. Councilman LaBonge and the TPL spearheaded the effort to solicit private donations to raise the $12.5-million dollars to purchase Cahuenga Peak from a group of Chicago developers. They had bought the land in 2002 from the Howard Hughes Trust and had a portion of it zoned to build 4 10-acre estates on the mountain, which would have forever altered the view of the iconic HOLLYWOOD Sign. But the donations came in -- large and small -- from school-kids to Hollywood moguls. Mega-donors Tiffany and Co. Foundation, Aileen Getty and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner kicked-in at least a million dollars each to put the effort over the top and secure the land for the people of Los Angeles and the world to enjoy in perpetuity. The dedication ceremony was to thank and honor those generous donors, to unveil the plaque and open the Aileen Getty Ridge Trail for the first time. Dozens of the attendees then hiked to Cahuenga Peak for a ceremonial toast; and -- at the urging -- of Councilman LaBonge, continued on to Burbank Peak to visit the "Magic Tree" which miraculously survived a raging wildfire several years ago. Councilman LaBonge said, "There are days we'll always remember, and this is one of them."
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