In 1998, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek donated the 62 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains to be used as a wildlife corridor and as a free, public space. Back then, the property that is now the Trebek Open Space was worth around $2 million. Today, the value is estimated at around $25 million.
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For nature lovers and hikers, the Trebek Open Space may be one of L.A.’s best kept secrets. Located at 2500 Nichols Canyon Road, close to the Wattles Mansion and Runyon Canyon, the space offers amazing views–while being a more low-key, less-crowded alternative to Runyon.
Following the announcement of Trebek’s death over the weekend, a number of prominent people, including L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer posted online about the Open Space as an example of the beloved host’s under-the-radar philanthropy.
FYI, in the 1990’s, Alex Trebek bought the 62 acres of land between Nichols Canyon and Runyon and donated it as public space for all of us to enjoy. It’s called Trebek Open Space. We’re so appreciative! https://t.co/YpmwW3RXrh @tpl_org @hikespeak #hiking #alextrebek
— LA City Attorney (@CityAttorneyLA) November 8, 2020
“This was not only a gift to urban Angelinos who thirst for open space and outdoor activity, but a gift to native animals such as our local mountain lions that require large amounts of open space in order to survive, and a gift to future generations who will have to reckon with climate change in the years to come,” wrote Jamie Hall, president of the Laurel Canyon Land Trust, in a Facebook post “Thank you Alex Trebek, and may you rest in peace.”
The Trebek Open Space was just one of the star’s many acts of charity during his lifetime. He also donated time and considerable funds to organizations supporting education and the arts, and to fighting pancreatic cancer, the illness to which he ultimately succumbed. He also gave generously to an organization based on a farm in Palmer, Alaska, dedicated to preserving his favorite animal, the musk ox.
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