About Us

South Bay Parkland Conservancy

The South Bay Parkland Conservancy (SBPC) is dedicated to helping make the community a better place by encouraging and assisting with the acquisition of Parklands. We work with residents, local and state government, and other like-minded organizations in our efforts to preserve parkland for today’s generation, and for generations to come.

Our Mission Statement

South Bay Parkland Conservancy is dedicated to the restoration, preservation and public use of coastal land resources in the South Bay Region.

Our Current Focus

Our current focus is the restoration of open space on the AES power plant property located on the Redondo Beach King Harbor waterfront and creating the Garden of Compassion.

  • Advocating for parkland on the AES power plant site and the Redondo Beach waterfront.
  • Working with private donors/government agencies/corporations/foundations to acquire open space.
  • Participating in local community events to build awareness and support for our efforts.
  • Sponsoring speaker events where experts and activists in other areas have been successful with similar goals.
  • Keeping involved and in contact with local issues and city officials.
  • Publishing an annual newsletter and monthly updates.
View The South Bay Parkland Conservancy Board Members
Melanie Cohen - President
Melanie Cohen has been living in the South Bay since 1989. She was a member of the Torrance and Bellflower Chamber of Commerce where she was involved in recycling and open space projects. Melanie moved to Redondo Beach in 1993. She is working tirelessly to try and help Redondo Beach retain and develop open spaces for use in the South Bay.
Dawn Esser, Vice President
Dawn Esser is a mother of two children attending school in the Redondo Beach School District and a resident of Redondo Beach since 1989. She is an active member of the Herondo Park Initiative, active in the schools as PTA Board Member, Chairperson and volunteer, and an active volunteer in Children and Student Ministries at her church. She hopes to improve the beauty and environment of Redondo Beach through the expansion of parks and green belt areas in Redondo. Dawn has a BS in Finance and MBA in International Finance and is currently a self-employed real estate investor, property manager and notary signing agent.
Irene Kurata - Treasurer
Irene Kurata is the Treasurer of the South Bay Parkland Conservancy. Irene is a native Angeleno who grew up in the South Bay enjoying the neighborhood parks with her family. She hopes to enhance and preserve the South Bay parks so that friends, neighbors and family can continue to build memories of the joys the outdoors brings.

Irene graduated from UCSB with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Jim Light - Board Member
Jim is a founding Director of the SBPC. He has lived inRedondo Beachsince 1989. A former Air Force officer, Jim is now an executive with a local aerospace firm. He has a degree in Aerospace Engineering and an MBA.

With a passion for water sports, Jim got his start in community service as an executive member of the local Surfrider chapter in the 1990’s. He led activities related to water quality, protection of the Ballona Wetlands, localism in Palos Verdes, and Pratte’s Reef. Jim became involved in Redondo land use issues after reading the Heart of the City Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Having worked EIR’s in his Air Force career, Jim quickly identified obvious flaws in the city’s EIR that resulted in dramatic understatement of the traffic impacts. Jim participated in the Heart of the City referendum drive after the City unanimously voted to approve the flawed document despite resident concerns with the impacts of the rezoning. Since Heart of the City, Jim has focused his energy on protecting and enhancing resident quality of life, public open space, parkland and waterfront recreational uses.

Paula Tuckerman - Secretary
Dr. Tuckerman was raised inMontana, where she received her BA in English from theUniversityofGreat Falls. She came toCaliforniain 1969, with a teaching credential and a contract to teach in LAUSD. She taught English and Math for 30 years in several schools in the urban district, eventually earning her Doctorate of Education (EdD) from USC, and holding positions as an administrator for the last 10 years of her career. One highlight was a position as the LAUSD US Department of Education Smaller Learning Communities Grants Coordinator, holding oversight of more than 20 schools with respect to this federal grant. Dr. Tuckerman retired in 2008, but has continued to work on a substitute administrator basis from time to time.

Dr. Tuckerman became a resident of Redondo Beach in 1991, and became engaged in community activities to enhance and preserve the historic character of Redondo Beach. She mentors and tutors her grandson, who attends Bishop Montgomery High School. He lives with her much of the week.

Samantha Iocabello - Board Member
Eugene Solomon - Board Member
Dave Wiggins - Board Member
Dave Wiggins is a founding Director of the South Bay Parkland Conservancy and currently serves as the Secretary to the corporation. Dave grew up in theSouthBayand has lived inRedondo Beachsince 1991. He has been active in conservation and land development issues throughout his adult life.

After a seven year career as a teacher, Dave began practicing law in 1985. He holds a B.A. degree in History fromPomona College, an M.A. degree in Education from Claremont Graduate University, and a law degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Dave periodically serves as a Judge pro tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court. He also teaches law classes in the paralegal programs at UCLA and Cal. State Los Angeles. From 1999 to 2003, Dave served as a member of the Board of Education of the Redondo Beach Unified School District. He was elected by fellow boardmembers to serve as their President from 2001 to 2002.

View The South Bay Parkland Conservancy Advisory Board
Bill Brand, City Council Member, City of Redondo Beach
Steven Carey, former Board Member, South Bay Parkland Conservancy
Ted Lieu, California State Senator
Mimi Marrs-Andersen, Owner, Garden Magic Company
Cliff Numark, City Council Member, City of Torrance
Don Vangeloff, former Board Member, South Bay Parkland Conservancy
Wendy Weber, Web Designer and former Board Member, South Bay Parkland Conservancy
Christine Wike, former Board Member, South Bay Parkland Conservancy
Jillaine Force, former Board Member, Your memory will always inspire us

South Bay Parkland Conservancy
115 S Guadalupe #H
Redondo Beach, CA   90277