Community Investment: The Third Parks Build Community Installment Promises Significant Benefits for an East Los Angeles Neighborhood

By Taylor, Danielle | Parks & Recreation, October 2012 | Go to article overview

Community Investment: The Third Parks Build Community Installment Promises Significant Benefits for an East Los Angeles Neighborhood


Taylor, Danielle, Parks & Recreation


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For a community with a name that literally translates to "the serene one," the East Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno has historically lacked places to find such serenity. Despite the fact that El Sereno has among the county's highest percentage of residents aged 10 or younger, few community facilities exist to provide opportunities for play, exercise, or just relaxation. Fortunately, thanks to a far-sighted mayor along with overwhelming support from several NRPA partners, individual donors, city officials, and community activists, a new park is well underway that is eagerly anticipated to provide a much needed peaceful oasis in the middle of the busy community.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Construction for the park, which has yet to receive an official name, broke ground on July 26, and it's slated to include a number of exciting components. PlayCore, a national playground manufacturer, has donated a 4,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art playground with elements for adults as well as children of all ages and ability levels, and a grant from First 5 L.A., a California state program that provides funds for early childhood development programs, paid for a nature play garden specially designed for younger children. The site will also include walking trails, traditional wooden play elements, picnic tables, and sustainable design concepts to minimize its environmental impact and reduce the need for regular maintenance. For this community that has been advocating for a neighborhood park for half a century, the anticipated green space couldn't be more welcome.

Decades in the Making

About 50 years ago, the California Department of Transportation (known as Caltrans) bought a property in El Sereno with plans to extend the I-710 freeway through the neigborhood from the south. But those plans never materialized, and about 30 years ago, community members began envisioning a vibrant community park on the long-neglected lot. However, the land was still owned by the state and controlled by Caltrans, and despite plenty of community effort, the neighborhood could never secure the proper approvals and funding for a park.

In recent years, though, renewed interest in the project from some influential individuals with the support of the community has brought the idea from a dream to a reality. Through the combined efforts over the past six years of Jose Huizar, Los Angeles City Councilmember for District 14, and community members including Val Marquez, founder of the neighborhood advocacy group Concerned Neighbors of El Sereno, the community was finally able to secure a 25-year lease from Caltrans for the property. In January 2010, Councilmember Huizar contacted The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation organization, and Program Manager Tori Kjer has since led TPL's efforts toward gathering funding for the project and soliciting community input for the park's design. When NRPA asked the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks if they would like to cooperate on a Parks Build Community project, El Sereno was their first choice.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"The community has been advocating for a park to be there since way before we got involved," Kjer says. "We agreed to facilitate community outreach efforts to pull together a design (to propose with grant requests for funding). We facilitated a number of meetings over about six months and got a really great turnout. People are really excited about it, and we came up with a design based on that [community input]."

In a true effort to accommodate the requests of those who will be using the park the most, community leaders have turned to neighborhood children for design ideas. "Twelve-year-old kids are telling me, 'We don't want any gangs, we would like to have more shade,'" Marquez says. "These kids are watching this every day, seeing the progress, and they're always asking, 'When is it going to be open, when can we go in and play? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Community Investment: The Third Parks Build Community Installment Promises Significant Benefits for an East Los Angeles Neighborhood
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.