$2 Million Park Upgrades Coming Soon

Second district residents will soon be seeing a lot more green.

Beginning in July, eight cities in the district will receive $250,000 in funding remaining from a 1992 ballot initiative to upgrade and make a variety of improvements to their local parks. Culver City’s Syd Kronenthal Park, for example, will get a playground that is renovated in accordance with the Americans with Disability Act; the city of Carson will have new outdoor fitness zones at Anderson, Calas, Dolphin, Dominguez and Hemingway parks and swimming pools at Compton’s Lueders and Gonzales parks will receive improvements.

The money comes from the interest earned on funds collected from a November 1992 ballot measure that taxpayers approved to fund more open space; Proposition A parcel tax assessment passed with 64 percent of voters supporting the formation of the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District.

And more improvements are on the way.

Beautifying open space and creating exercise areas in these communities has been a top priority for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. Because of the historically low number of parks and limited options for healthy food, many residents in the Second District suffer from high levels of childhood obesity, high blood pressure and other health related issues.

With the support of Chairman Ridley-Thomas, the Department of Parks and Recreation applied for and received two grants that will help to address these issues and enhance the overall quality of life in communities.

Specifically, the department is currently working on a m aster p lan that will address the park and recreation needs of residents in the county’s unincorporated communities. Funded by a $1 million grant from the state, the first phase of the master plan will focus on East Rancho Dominguez, Lennox, West Athens, and Willowbrook in the Second District. Community members will have a chance to shape the plans by participating interviews, focus groups, workshops, community surveys and outreach fairs.

With an additional $38,500 grant from the state, the Department of Parks and Recreation will do a comprehensive inventory of trees at 26 parks in the county, including Athens Park, East Rancho Dominguez Park, Lennox Park, Helen Keller Park, George Washington Carver Park, Mona Park, Earvin “Magic” Johnson Recreation Area and Martin Luther King Jr. Fitness Garden. This tree inventory will also provide valuable information for the Master Plan.

Both the master plan – phase one and the tree inventory projects will be completed within two years. The funding, upgrades and renovations come as part of the county of Los Angeles’ effort to improve the quality of outdoor life in the region.

“I am so pleased to see these urban “greening” initiatives going forward,” said Chairman Ridley-Thomas. “Creating desirable and beautiful open spaces for our residents will impact future generations in a positive way. This initiative will continue to be a top priority for me.”