2009 - The Year of Valley History
Santa Susana Field Laboratory
by Christina Walsh and William Preston Bowling
For most of the Cold War, the people of the San Fernando Valley lived with a neighbor they knew little or nothing about. Just to the west, in the Simi Hills, was a huge facility building and testing rocket engines, and and procucing nuclear power as well. The Santa Susana Field Laboratory, run by Rocketdyn, NASA, and other government agencies, did vital work, but contamination from radioactive and other toxic sources grew to alarming levels.. Only in recent years has this problem been addressed on an effective level, resulting in a partial cleanup.
A pair of activists, working hard to increase public awareness are Christina Walsh and William Preston Bowling, are authors of an attractive softcover book entitled SANTA SUSANA FIELD LABORATORY (privately printed). It consists mainly of their own color photographs of the site, with accompanying narrative.. The authors have done a really important job helping to focus attention on a lingering problem, and they encourage people to visit the Aerospace Cancer Museum of Education in Chatsworth, which is headquarters for their ongoing efforts. (818) 712-6903.
Fred A. Berk Librarian, Museum of the San Fernando Valley
The San Fernando Valley, in the heart of the Creative Capital of the World, deserves a great Museum of history and culture.