The Willowbook community and visitors of George Washington Carver Park on 118th Street in South Los Angeles will soon notice significant renovations to the 7.22 acre park. At its November 22nd meeting, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized the funding of $610,000 for park improvements enabling the Department of Parks and Recreation to design and begin construction on the site.
In addition to completing renovations of a new roof and restroom inside the community building, the funds will be used to build new walkways that are compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and implement a new irrigation system complete with landscaping that includes native plants, drought-tolerant shade trees and shrubs. In addition to park improvements, efforts are currently underway to build an urban walking trail that will connect Carver Park, Carver Elementary School, the Watts Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club, and the Compton Creek. The new trail is being financed through a $415,000 grant which will be used to employ local youth from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to complete improvements including landscaping, signage and decorative fencing along the creek.
Additionally, the Department of Parks and Recreation will install new exercise equipment, bike racks and drinking fountains at the park in coordination with the new trail facility. The Board’s authorization comes after a series of community meetings in which residents expressed their desire to both develop the trail and restore the Carver Park Community Room at the park. Residents have created a “Friends of Carver Park” organization in an effort to continue the ongoing support of improvements to the site. “These momentous improvements will be a huge resource to the community,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, “I am proud that residents are taking ownership over this park and I look forward to working with the Friends of Carver Park to further enhance this important asset within the Willowbrook Community.”
The Supervisor continued: “This renovation continues the effort to provide environmental conservation, fitness, and public access to open space in the Second Supervisorial District.”