The early beginnings of Gardena as a community of homes, apart from the great rancho estates of the Dominguez, Amestoy, Ducazau, and Rosecrans families, date back to the 1880s. A Ventura man, Spencer R. Thorpe, is credited with having started the first settlement in Gardena Valley, centered near the intersection now known as 161st Street and Figueroa.
The City of Gardena was incorporated on September 11, 1930. It combined the rural communities of Gardena, Moneta, and Strawberry Park into a Municipal Corporation, Sixth Class City. At that time Gardena was a small farming community of about 20,000 people.
Today Gardena is an active and progressive residential and business community with a City government that prides itself in providing a full range of qualified services to the community.
The City of Gardena is a small but highly urbanized community located within the South Bay Basin of Los Angeles County, 13 miles from downtown Los Angeles. According to the Census, Gardena’s population in 2000 was 57,746; approximately 12 percent higher than it was in 1990. The 2009 State Department of Finance Population Estimates indicates the population is approximately 61,810; approximately 4,000 people more than the 2000 Census reported. Gardena’s growth is similar to that of surrounding South Bay communities. Gardena, California, is a full-service city of 5.9 square miles with an ethnically mixed population of 61,810. Our central location makes it both easy to do business from Gardena to anywhere in Southern California and is ideal for conducting international trade. HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc., Crenshaw Lumber Co., Hustler Casino, and Southwest Offset Printing are among the largest employers in Gardena.
Academic excellence and community education are high priorities in Gardena. In addition to nine public and five private Elementary schools, the City has eight Preschools, one City-operated Family Child Care program and three Japanese Language schools. The elementary schools offer a Tri-Lingual Magnet in Japanese-Spanish-English and a Bi-Lingual Korean-English Program. Peary Middle School has a Math-Science Magnet, and Gardena High School is the home of Southern California International Business Academy and a Foreign Language Magnet in French-Spanish-Japanese. Gardena is also very proud of the highly respected private Serra High School, the Sellery School for Special Education, and the Gardena Community, an adult School which offers over 200 community-based classes.
To learn more about Gardena’s school district, click on this link: