Welcome to Gardena, a vibrant city located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. With a population of 58,829 at the 2010 census, Gardena is a bustling city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Gardena has something for everyone. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this city such a special destination.
Gardena has a rich history that dates back to the Tongva people who hunted and fished in the area around 10,000 years ago. In 1784, Juan Jose Dominguez, a Spanish soldier, received the roughly 43,000-acre Spanish land grant, the Rancho San Pedro, which contained what became known as Gardena Valley. After the American Civil War, veterans bought parts of the land, and soon ranchers and farmers followed suit. Gardena proper began in 1887 when the Pomeroy & Harrison real estate developers subdivided the ranch, anticipating the coming of the Los Angeles and Redondo Railway. Japanese Americans settled in Gardena throughout its history, and the city became incorporated on September 11, 1930. From 1936 to 1980, Gardena held a local monopoly on legal cardrooms, the taxes from which accounted for nearly a third of its annual budget.
Gardena has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15 km2), over 99% of which is land. A 9.4-acre wetland preserve, the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve, is located at the southeast corner of Gardena. This is a naturally occurring marshland where water seeps above-ground all year round. It hosts several species of trees and other vegetation. Gardena is bordered by the unincorporated community of 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. Neighborhoods in Gardena include Hermosillo, Moneta, and Strawberry Park.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Gardena had a population of 58,829. The population density was 10,030.0 inhabitants per square mile (3,872.6/km2). The racial makeup of Gardena was 24.6% White, 24.4% African American, 0.6% Native American, 26.2% Asian, 0.7% Pacific Islander, 18.9% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. There were 22,151 people of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race (37.7%). The median household income was $48,251, with 15.5% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
Gardena’s Japanese American population contributes to the South Bay region of Los Angeles being home to the largest concentration of Japanese companies within the mainland United States. The Japanese Cultural Institute (JCI) has been located in Gardena since