Thanks to the city of Los Angeles, you can sit by Echo Park Lake and enjoy free Wi-Fi. (Yuri Shimoda/JigsawMagazine.com)
In Southern California we are spoiled with gorgeous weather, great food, exciting entertainment choices, beautiful architecture and now free Wi-Fi in some of our most beloved parks and beaches. Currently cities like Culver City, Long Beach and Santa Monica offer free internet connections, and the city of Los Angeles is taking a first step in that direction with free internet “hot spots” in many of its parks and beaches.
The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks was created in 1944 and operates over 63,000 acres of parks and recreational facilities, which include parks, gardens, lakes, trails, natural gardens and several public golf courses. The history of this department can be traced back to Sept. 4, 1781, when Colonel Felipe de Neve (Governor of the Spanish province of Alta California) founded Los Angeles, including the historic Plaza in the center of the city which became the first location of the original park system.
In 1889 the City Council of Los Angeles, which owned several pieces of land, created the Department of Parks with additional land gifts by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, who donated five square miles of the Los Feliz Rancho in 1896. Subsequently the park system added Elysian Park, Pershing Square, Lincoln Park, MacArthur Park, Echo Park Lake and Hollenbeck Park to the original old plaza parks lands.
The free Wi-Fi service is called “Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi,” and is being sponsored by Toyota with “hot spots” in several Los Angeles locations that include Cabrillo Beach, Echo Park Lake, Griffith Observatory, Pershing Square, Reseda Park and my hood, Venice Beach. In addition, the Department of Recreation and Parks has added a service on their website where visitors to the parks can make requests in the department’s construction and maintenance section regarding improvements and other concerns.
Visit their webpage, laparks.org/wificoverage/wifiCoverage.htm, to see the Wi-Fi coverage maps (They are drawn for estimated areas and do not indicate exact coverage.) in PDF format.