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Gardena

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Below is some general information about Gardena:

Gardena is a city located in the South Bay (southwestern) region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 58,829 at the 2010 census, up from 57,746 at the 2000 census. The city of Gardena has the highest percentage of Japanese in North America. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.9 square miles, over 99% of which is land. A 9.4-acre wetland preserve, named the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve is located at the south-east corner of Gardena. This is a naturally-occurring marshland where water seeps above-ground all year round hosting several species of trees and other vegetation. It is located near the present day intersection of Vermont Avenue and Artesia Boulevard. Gardena is bordered by Athens on the north, the Los Angeles neighborhood of Harbor Gateway on the east and south, Torrance on the southwest, Alondra Park on the west, and Hawthorne on the northwest.

In 1784, three years after the foundation of Los Angeles, Juan Jose Dominguez, a Spanish soldier who arrived in San Diego, California in 1769 with Fernando Rivera y Moncada, in recognition of his military service, received the roughly 43,000-acre Spanish land grant, the Rancho San Pedro. Part of this land contained what became known as Gardena Valley. After the American Civil War veterans bought parts of the land, soon ranchers and farmers followed suit. Union Army Major General William Starke Rosecrans in 1869 bought 16,000 acres. The Rosecrans Rancho, was bordered by what later was Florence Avenue on the north, Redondo Beach Boulevard on the south, Central Avenue on the east, and Arlington Avenue on the west. The Rosecrans property was sub divided and sold in the early 1870s. One of those became the 650-acre Amestoy Ranch. Gardena proper began in 1887 when the Pomeroy & Harrison real estate developers subdivided the ranch, and-anticipating that the coming of the Los Angeles and Redondo Railway. Civil War veteran Spencer Roane Thorpe is credited with starting the first settlement in Gardena in 1887. Railroads put Gardena on the map following a real estate boom in the Los Angeles area in the 1880s. Some believe the city was named for its reputation for being the only green spot in the dry season between Los Angeles and the sea. Because of its acres of berries, the city was dubbed Berryland. The Strawberry Day Festival and Parade was held each May annually. The berry industry suffered at the time of World War I as other crops were supported by the war economy. Japanese Americans settled in Gardena throughout its history. Their community was the subject of a 60 Minutes report in 1970. The only way Gardena could protect itself from a heavy county tax imposed on a planned project at a park site was to incorporate. The City of Gardena became incorporated on September 11, 1930.

The 2010 United States Census reported that Gardena had a population of 58,829. The population density was 10,030.0 people per square mile (3,872.6-square-kilometers). The racial makeup of Gardena was 14,498 (24.6%) White, 14,352 (24.4%) African American, 348 (0.6%) Native American, 15,400 (26.2%) Asian, 426 (0.7%) Pacific Islander, 11,136 (18.9%) from other races, and 2,669 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22,151 persons (37.7%). The Census reported that 58,035 people (98.7% of the population) lived in households, 122 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 672 (1.1%) were institutionalized.

The Gardena Office of Economic Development is a department of the city government. It aids employers in filling a variety of jobs customized to their specific needs. It also helps potential employers in setting up business enterprises. The Gardena Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency in the City. The Police Department has 93 sworn police officers, 24 full-time support staff, and 33 part-time employees. There are reserve, volunteer, and explorer programs. The current Chief of Police is Edward Medrano, appointed in 2007. Radio communications and the 9-1-1 call center are handled by the South Bay Regional Public Communications Authority.

Gardena Mayme Dear Library, a 16,000-square-foot building located in Gardena, and Masao W. Satow Library, located west of Gardena in Alondra Park (El Camino Village), unincorporated Los Angeles County, are operated by the County of Los Angeles Public Library. Wednesday Progressive Club sponsored the formation of the Gardena Library. In 1913 the Moneta Branch was formed. In 1914 the Gardena Library became a part of the Los Angeles County Free Library system. Due to annexation the library was transferred to the Los Angeles City Library Board. In 1919 the Strawberry Park branch was formed. In August 1951 the Gardena library came back to the county system. In 1958 the Strawberry Park and Moneta branches merged into the West Gardena Branch. The current Gardena library building was dedicated on December 5, 1964. In 1969 a fire forced the West Gardena branch to go to a new location. The current Satow building, dedicated on February 26, 1977, was named after a Japanese American in the community. The Gardena library received its current name on May 30, 1992 after a library volunteer, who had died prior to the renaming.

Source: Gardena on Wikipedia