Griffith Park's Abandoned Commonwealth Nursery - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles, California

Griffith Park's Abandoned Commonwealth Nursery

Get the dirt on the history of the park's long-lost greenhouse and contribute in planting new seeds for its comeback.

The vast wilds of Griffith Park contain many time capsules and relics of projects past, most famously the popular ruins of L.A.'s old, abandoned zoo. But if you take a hike along Vista del Valle Drive you're likely to stumble upon another spooky site abandoned for decades that is not listed in any official guides to the park and much less traveled by urban nature explorers.  
Join Atlas Obscura for an in-depth exploration and reinvigoration of Griffith Park's long-lost Commonwealth Nursery, left largely untouched for the past 50 years. Located within the largest urban park in the nation, this site offers a glimpse back in time to when the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks ran a fully functional nursery and horticultural program. Built to supply plants for city projects, it was the largest of its kind in the late 1920s and ended due to budget cuts in the 1970s. 
Led by Kat Superfisky, executive director of native plant nursery nonprofit Grown in LA, this tour will take you through several of the nursery's remaining dilapidated structures and provide a sneak peek of the projects currently underway to reinvigorate Commonwealth. Following the tour, you'll also get the opportunity to get your hands dirty with native plant designer and gardener Katherine Pakradouni on a variety of gardening activities, rotating by station to participate in everything you're interested in. Jump in to help with transplanting native plants being grown from specially collected urban seed sources in Los Angeles, scavenging for pots and other useful treasures left behind on site, mixing soil, and helping out with weed management.   


  • This event is family friendly, ages 12+.
  • The exact address will be emailed to attendees a few days before the tour.
  • During the tour, we will be going near/into abandoned spaces that pose possible dangers. 
  • A signed and dated liability waiver is required from all attendees.
  • Expect to be standing or walking for most of the duration of the event.
  • Please wear closed-toed shoes. High heels, sandals, and flip flops are not allowed.
  • Photography and video are allowed. 


Email Benjamin Harmon at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges