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Simi Valley, California

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Simi Valley in California.

 

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Simi Valley is an incorporated city located in a valley of the same name in the southeast corner of Ventura County, California, bordering the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles in the Greater Los Angeles Area. According to the United States Bureau of the Census estimate, the city had a total population of 111,351 in 2000 and 118,687 in 2005. The January 2010 California Department of Finance report estimated the population at 126,902.

Simi Valley is presently known as the home of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the former president was laid to rest following his death in 2004. The city received media attention as the location of the 1992 trial resulting in the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police officers accused of assaulting Rodney King, triggering riots in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Unbeknownst to most residents, the town sits adjacent to the site of America's first significant nuclear accident, at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in 1959.

The city of Simi Valley is surrounded by the Santa Susana Mountain range and the Simi Hills, west of the San Fernando Valley and east of the Conejo Valley. It is largely a commuter bedroom community feeding the larger cities in Ventura County to the west and the Los Angeles area and the San Fernando Valley to the east.

Simi Valley repeatedly appears on Safest Cities in America lists.

Landmarks

Simi Valley is home to two California Historical Landmarks:

NO. 939 Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments (Thematic) - Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village - This fantastic assemblage is one of California's remarkable Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments. In 1956, Tressa Prisbrey, then nearly sixty years old, started building a fanciful 'village' of shrines, walkways, sculptures, and buildings from recycled items and discards from the local dump. She worked for 25 years creating one structure after another to house her collections. The Mosaic Walkway is embedded with thousands of treasures—tiles, shells, doorknobs, irons, car ornaments, jewelry, dishware, scissors, guns, toys—everything imaginable that creates a timestamp of 1950s post consumer waste. Originally, Bottle Village had more than 13 buildings and 20 sculptures. Although severely damaged during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. It is located at 4595 Cochran St, Simi Valley.

NO. 979 Rancho Simi - This is the site of the headquarters of the Spanish Rancho San José de Nuestra Senora de Altagarcia y Simi. The name derives from 'Shimiji,' the name of the Chumash village here before the Spanish. At 113,000 acres (457 km²), Rancho Simi was one of the state's largest land grants. Two prominent Spanish and Mexican family names are connected with the Rancho: Santiago Pico who first received the grant, and José de la Guerra who purchased the Rancho in 1842. Two rooms of original adobe remain, part of the Strathearn home built in. The Strathearn Historical Park and Museum, an open air park that is owned and maintained by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, and is operated jointly with the Simi Valley Historical Society. The house is maintained as a historic house museum with typical period furniture and household displays. In addition to the Simi Adobe-Strathearn House, there are various historic buildings and structures that have been moved from their original site to the park, including the a 1924 children's playhouse with toys, the 1902 St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, the original Simi Valley Library and two barns with farm tools and equipment. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-78000825. Location: Robert P Strathearn Historical Park, 137 Strathearn Place, Simi Valley.

Simi Valley is also home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which has been visited by more than 1 million people since it opened. After a major state funeral in Washington, D.C., President Reagan was buried at the library in June 2004. The library adjoins a hangar in which the Boeing 707 SAM 27000 (Air Force One), which served presidents Nixon through G.W. Bush, is housed and available for tours. In the pavilion are various automobiles used to transport the president, as well as Marine One, the presidential helicopter.

Recreation

Simi Valley has 20 city parks and five county parks to preserve large swaths of open space in the nearby Santa Susana Mountains, locally known as the "foothills." The city boasts six golf courses and the Kanan Ranch home development has nature trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians to enjoy. Two collegiate baseball teams: The Simi Valley Senators and the California Oaks of the California Collegiate League in Thousand Oaks, provide sports action to local fans.

To the East, Rocky Peak has a trail system for Mountain Biking, Hiking and Equestrian activities. The trail is accessed just off the 118 freeway at Kuehner Road, Yosemite Road (about 1-mile (1.6 km) North) or Rocky Peak. Trailheads are: The Hummingbird Trail, Rocky Peak Fire Road or The Chumash Trail. These trails are not recommended for beginners, due to fairly steep grades and some technical sections on the trail. A technical downhill mountain bike run known as the G Spot can be accessed via Rocky Peak Fire Road.

To the West, numerous trails are accessible for Mountain Biking, Hiking and Equestrian activities. The main access point is at the intersection of Wood Ranch Parkway and Long Canyon Parkway. The trail system travels as far west as highway 23, as far east as the Rocketdyne facility and connects to the Lang Ranch trail system (Westlake Village) and Chesebro trail system which begins in Agoura Hills. Simi Peak (the highest peak in Simi Valley) is accessible from this trail system via China Flats in the Chesebro trail system. Ahmundson Ranch connects to this trail system, again via the Chesebro trail system. Bridlepath, a private trail system also connects to the main fire road.

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