Environment, Parks, Libraries

Park to Playa Bridge Work To Close La Cienega On Coming Weekends

A stretch of La Cienega Blvd. between Stocker Avenue and Obama Boulevard will be closed for three consecutive weekends in June for the construction of a long-anticipated pedestrian bridge. The 440-foot overpass will link the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook and Stoneview Nature Center across La Cienega Blvd to the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

Fabricated bridge segments loaded onto truck for transportation. Photo courtesy of the Griffith Company

The construction of the bridge is the final component of the 13-mile Park to Playa Trail, which once completed, will seamlessly connect a network of trails, parks and open spaces within the Baldwin Hills Parklands to the Pacific Ocean. Amenities that will be connected along the Park to Playa include the Stocker Corridor, Rueben Ingold Park, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Stoneview Nature Center, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Culver City Park and Milton Street Park along the Ballona Creek Bike Path.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas during the construction of the Park to Playa Bridge over La Cienega Boulevard on June 14, 2020. Photo by Aurelia Ventura / Board of Supervisors

Construction of the bridge and its support structures will take place during the day and requires the weekend closure of all onsite parking at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, as well as all lanes of La Cienega Boulevard. Closures will be in effect from Friday at 9 p.m. to Monday at 5 a.m. over the following dates:

  • June 12-15
  • June 19-22
  • June 26-29

“The bridge that will span across La Cienega Boulevard represents the finishing touch to the Park to Playa Trail  – which will connect not just a series of parks, but communities, from the beach all the way to Baldwin Hills. The installation of the bridge is a tangible sign that this long-awaited, highly-anticipated community asset is finally near completion,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The project is currently on schedule to be completed by Fall 2020.

Groundbreaking for the pedestrian bridge that will span across La Cienega. Photo by Dave Franco / Board of Supervisors

Happy Earth Day

While the 50th celebration of Earth Day may look a little different than previous ones, there is no wrong time or place to celebrate this important day. Here are a couple ideas on how you can stay, educated, engaged and empowered to do your part to celebrate mother earth, today and every day!

Get Educated by reading Los Angeles County’s Sustainability Plan – and let us know what areas you think should be areas of focus.

  • Education is important, especially when it comes to mother earth. Read, learn and understand how you can help to protect the environment. Our County sustainability plan, outlines an inclusive vision for the future balancing the co-equal values of environment, equity & economy.

Get Engaged by participating in one of the thousands of virtual earth day events happening all over the globe.

  • Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Many individuals celebrate by recycling, saving energy, observing nature and practicing environmental stewardship.

Get Empowered by instituting some of these strategies to live a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly life.

  • Reduce household energy use. Ex: Turn off appliances and lights that you’re not using.
  • Eat Locally
  • Dispose with disposables.
  • Resell and donate items
  • Save water
  • Rely less on your car
  • Purchase fair-trade products
  • Drink from the tap
  • Plant seeds
  • Recycle

The Final Phase of a Transformative Trail System

Groundbreaking for the pedestrian bridge that will span across La Cienega. Photo by Dave Franco / Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, leaders from LA County Parks, partnering agencies, and local dignitaries marked the groundbreaking of the transformative pedestrian bridge that will span across La Cienega with a celebratory breakfast and speaking program. This is the last phase of development of the Park to Playa Trail that connects the Baldwin Hills Parklands to the Pacific Ocean.

“The Park to Playa Trail started out as a vision,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “A vision that we could connect the Pacific Ocean to this incredible space we know as the Baldwin Hills Park Lands. This will be the first seamless walking and biking trail created that will connect the communities of South Los Angeles directly to the beach.”

John Wicker and Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. Photo by Dave Franco / Board of Supervisors

“Today, because of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ vision to connect people and parks, Park to Playa is over 13 miles long linking Kenneth Hahn Regional County Park to a string of parks, open spaces and many communities,” said John Wicker, Director of LA County Parks and Recreation. “We are proud to unite joggers, cyclist, hikers, and residents of all walks of life from Park to Playa, through a world class bridge development.”

It was 10 years ago, that the work began to make this vision a reality, and since then, the County Departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority along with local jurisdictions and community organizations have been working together to complete the trail, which spans multiple jurisdictions, including the cities of Culver City, Los Angeles, and State Park property.

Rendering of Park to Playa pedestrian bridge over La Cienega Boulevard courtesy of Los Angeles County Public Works.

“When I think about Park to Playa I’m going to be thinking about building bridges, building bridges among people,” said Mujeres de la Tierra President Irma Muñoz. “Thanks to the efforts and leadership of Supervisor Ridley-Thomas we will finally have access to our great beaches, access that we didn’t have before.”

“The Baldwin Hills Conservancy has been working in lock step with the County to implement the vision of a regional trail that traverses the Parklands and ends up at the coast. Putting a pedestrian, bicycle and wildlife bridge over La Cienega marks the final piece of the Park to Playa Trail,” said Baldwin Hills Conservancy Executive Vice President David McNeill. “Tomorrow is certainly cause for celebration as we set the tone for the next 20 years of park expansion, community access and wildlife connectivity.”

Rendering of Park to Playa pedestrian bridge over La Cienega Boulevard courtesy of Los Angeles County Public Works.

“From the inception of the Park to Playa everything has been done exceptionally well, on target and on time,” said Blair Hills Association member Annie Wilson. “The input of the Baldwin Hills Association has been well received by the County.”

“My husband and I frequently walk the “Park to Playa Trails,” added Blair Hills resident Bobbi Gold. “We especially enjoyed the Scenic Overlook and Stoneview Nature Center as well as the hikes and views in Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.”

Over the past seven years the six other segments of the trail were completed:

• In 2013, a direct connection was created into Hahn Park for the View Park and Windsor Hills communities with the Eastern Ridgeline Trail.
• In 2016, a trailhead at the Stocker Corridor was created which links the trail to Rueben Ingold Park.
• In 2016, one seamless trail was created through Hahn Park which allows users to walk from La Brea Ave to La Cienega Blvd.
• In 2017, a trail was constructed that runs parallel to Hetzler Road to avoid conflicts between pedestrians and drivers; and
• In 2018, on the west side of La Cienega, a trail was completed connecting the Stoneview Nature center to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook; and the connection from the trail to Ballona Creek at Jefferson Blvd was improved.

Celebrating Environmental Stewards

Last year, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted its first countywide sustainability plan, Ourcounty (ourcountyla.org), which is focused around the themes of resilience, sustainability, and equity.  The Plan is the boldest, most comprehensive regional approach to sustainability ever adopted by a county in the United States.

LA County cannot move toward a greener future through government action alone. Throughout the County, residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, community groups and cities develop and employ innovative initiatives to enhance the region’s sustainability, making communities healthier, more livable, more equitable, economically stronger, and more resilient.

The 2020 “Green Leadership Awards Program” is designed to recognize outstanding community efforts that support sustainability as well as to create opportunities to engage and inspire all of us about the strategies that make every day Earth Day.

The awards were established by the Board in 2008, to promote community involvement in energy and water conservation, environmental sustainability and the preservation of our natural resources. They are open to all County residents, public agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Past winners include the Los Angeles Convention Center for their Next Level Sustainability project, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) for its six-County community outreach and advertising campaign, Go Human Active Transportation, and GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles for its Non-Profit Solar Opportunities program.

Applications for the 2020 Green Leadership Awards should be emailed to Greenleadership@lacbos.org by 5:00 p.m. on February 14, 2020. The application can be found at lacounty.gov/greenleadership/ The Green Leadership Awards gathering will be held on April 22, 2020, which is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Vector illustration – Green Brain