Local Sheroes of Nature – Norma Edith García-Gonzalez

It’s Women’s History Month and our celebration of inspiring local leaders who champion nature and the outdoors continues… 

This week we honor Norma Edith García-Gonzalez. 

Appointed as Director of the Los Angeles County Parks Department in 2020, Norma is the first woman and the first person of color to serve in this role since the Department was created in 1944.

Under Norma’s direction, the parks department is making equity and youth engagement a mission, going beyond its traditional role as a provider of recreation opportunities. 

Before her appointment, she held the position of Acting Director and Chief Deputy.

The department oversees 183 parks, about 70,000 acres of parklands and natural areas, and more than 200 miles of trails. García-Gonzalez has worked for the department for more than a decade and grew up in Los Angeles County

She was instrumental in the development of The Los Angeles Countywide Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment (Needs Assessment), a historic undertaking, led by the Los Angeles County Parks Department, to address health equity and collaboratively engage all communities within Los Angeles County to gather data and input for decision making on parks and recreation.  In 2016, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted the Needs Assessment final report, which ultimately resulted in Measure A, titled the Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks, Open Space, Beaches, Rivers Protection and Water Conservation Measure.” It was approved by approximately 75% of voters and raises about $94 million annually through a parcel tax on development, with 13% allocated to High and Very High need areas.

The daughter of immigrants and the first in her family to attend college, Norma. graduated from UCLA with a bachelors degree in Political Science and a masters degree in Urban Planning.

A long-time advocate for the well-being of children, families, and in bringing equity to communities throughout the County, Norma’s work has had a tremendous impact on the lives of Angelenos; and on the work that we do at Wildwoods.  

Thank you, Norma!