Chatsworth Nature Preserve: A Wildlife Haven in our Backyard


The Chatsworth Nature Preserve is a major City of Los Angeles open space preserve teeming with wildlife

As animal lovers, conservation efforts to preserve the natural habitat of indigenous species is important to us, so you can imagine how excited we were to learn that in an inconspicuous corner of the San Fernando Valley is home to more than 200 bird species plus numerous mammals, amphibians and reptiles. The Chatsworth Nature preserve encompasses 1,325 acres which include oak woodlands, savanna, riparian areas, grassland, vernal pools, and an Ecology Pond.

Although the preserve is close to points of interest like Stoney Point and Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, you won’t be able to visit. Since 1994, City Ordinance has limited use of the land strictly to scientific study and education (probably for good reason, you won’t want to get caught walking Fido alongside the bobcats, falcons, hawks, coyotes and gray wolves who live within the preserve). However, a limited area of the park is open to the public one day a year, an Earth Day celebration hosted by LADWP.

Like much of the Chatsworth area, the nature-esque terrain has garnered the attention of Hollywood and has been the setting of many films and TV shows, especially Westerns. Feature films that were shot in part at what now comprises the Chatsworth Nature Preserve include The Ten Commandments, Donovan’s Brain, The Palomino, Susanna Pass, Sioux City Sue, Man from Rainbow Valley, Out California Way, Home on the Range, Hell’s Angels, Tess of the Storm Country, Three Word Brand and The Karate Kid. Television shows filmed there include The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Rin Tin Tin II, and The Dukes of Hazard.