Public Safety and the Environment

Leadership Academy, an LAX Coastal Chamber program aimed at developing and enhancing the leadership skills of local professionals,  had a successful 5th session on Thursday, March 17 as they learned more about “Public Safety and the Environment.”

Starting with a first-hand tour of the Twin Tower Correctional Facility, participants learned more about local safety issues and the way our Los Angeles jail system works. This tour featured such tidbits as: did you know that Twin Towers Jail is primarily a psychiatric facility, helping inmates with mental health issues through medication and counseling? And that they host a program to help female inmates earn their GED or High School Diploma? Following the jail tour, Leadership Academy headed to the beach for lunch, hosted by proud Chamber Member the El Segundo Catering Company.

Leadership Academy’s Matthew Swanlund, of Aesthetic Legal, enjoying the Hyperion tour.

The educational day continued with a tour of the Hyperion Treatment Plant to find out what happens to our communities sewage. While the topic sounds a little smelly (and indeed, parts of the tour were as well) it was extremely informative and even a little beautiful, as the outdoor plant featured modern architecture on a blue-sky day. The tour warned against dumping non-trash items down your toilet, shower, or sink as all of them end up in the sewer and have to be manually extracted, also showed the “life-cycle” of our communities water. Interested in learning more? The Hyperion Treatment Plant offers free tours and has an Environmental Learning Center.

The unfortunate effects of our drought on the Ballona Wetlands, 2014 vs 2016.
The unfortunate effects of our drought on the Ballona Wetlands, 2014 vs 2016.

Finally, the class ended in our very own backyard with a private tour of the Ballona Wetlands, hosted by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands, that included a snake sighting, some delicious lemonade berries, and a beautiful 360 view of the entire wetlands (albeit not very wet due to our drought, unfortunately).

Looking to become a Leadership Academy participant next year? Contact the LAX Coastal Chamber for more details at 310.645.5151.

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