Friday, May 26, 2006

At Prospect Park in East Los Angeles

Los Angeles - On May 25, 2006 the Department of Recreation and Parks' General Manager, Councilmember Jose Huizar, members of Soledad Enrichment Action (SEA) and community members helped install new playground equipment at Prospect Park in East Los Angeles.

The new equipment includes swings for both youth and adults, spiral slides, a double wave slide that allows two kids to ride simultaneously and a chain net climbing apparatus. When fully completed the project will double the size of the play area.

The $175,000 installation was performed by Citywide Construction Forces, under the direction of Mike Fea, and funded by Proposition 12.

Prospect park is located on the corner of Echandia and Judson Streets in Boyle Heights.

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711

Monday, May 15, 2006

Dedication ceremony at the Van Nuys park

Van Nuys - The Department of Recreation and Parks unveiled a new community building at Delano Recreation Center on Saturday, May 13, 2006. The new $5.6 million center was dedicated and named in honor of American farm worker, labor leader and activist, Cesar E. Chavez and former City Councilmember Cindy Miscikowski.

The new Recreation Center at Delano replaced an aging, antiquated facility with a modern, 13,324 square foot building and will provide Valley residents with additional recreational opportunities. Features include a full size gymnasium with bleacher seating and a stage, childcare center, full-service kitchen, staff office, an enlarged parking lot and plenty of storage space. The project also restored the baseball/ softball fields and included a new children’s play area with resilient surfacing. There are also interior and exterior restrooms that comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and building and security lighting.

The Delano project was designed by Carde Ten Architecture Associates of Santa Monica and built by Metro Builders & Engineers Group of Newport Beach. The Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Engineering managed the work through its Recreational and Cultural Facilities Program. The project was funded by Propositions K, A and 12, state and federal grant money and Department resources.

The Van Nuys LAPD Explorers performed the Presentation of Colors and Rosie Trujillo sang the National Anthem. The Department's General Manager, Jon Kirk Mukri, was in attendance along with Councilmember Tony Cardenas and representatives from Bureau of Engineering and Delano Park Advisory Board.

A ribbon cutting and tree planting immediately followed the Dedication Ceremony.

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9292, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711

Cinco De Mayo Celebration

Canoga Park - Lanark Recreation Center, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility, hosted a Cinco De Mayo festival to kick-off the center's Friday Night Teen Extreme Program.

Lanark has revived their Extreme Teen Program in an attempt to divert local youth from participating in gang activity. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, the Canoga Park area was suppressed by drug and gang activity. The City Attorney, the councilmember and LAPD, brought all of the City departments and property owners together to make the area safer.

A Friday Night Teen Program was created to bring the park back to life and provide young adults with positive alternatives to gang activity. Over 100 teens came to the park every week to play sports, dance, listen to music and take field trips. Members of the community and police force served as mentors and the crime rate went down.

With the recent increase of gang activity, the Friday Night Extreme Teen Program has been re-created in order to prevent a downhill trend. The newly restored program was welcomed back into the community on Friday, May 5, 2006, with a teen softball league and festival.

The event opened with entertainment by Hip-Hop and Ballet Folklorico dancers. Two softball games followed the opening ceremony. Live entertainment continued with the Latin rock band, Sangrefria and Cumbia band, Grupo Pecado.

For more information about the Extreme Teen Program call (818)883-1503.

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711

Friday, May 12, 2006

At Encino Park in the South Valley

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks opened the first tricycle/wheelchair track in the City of Los Angeles on Monday, May 8, 2006. With over 160,000 special needs children in Los Angeles County, the special track at Encino Park was well overdue.

The new tricycle/wheelchair track was created to help bridge the gap between able-bodied children and children with special needs. The entire facility is "Universally Accessible". The tricycle track complex is designed to allow both disabled children, in wheelchairs, manually or electric powered, to participate side by side with able bodied children on tricycles, "big wheels" and other similar foot powered vehicles to play and participate in a fun and healthy activity.

Project details include appropriately scaled elements, usually found on public roads, such as traffic signs and a gasoline filling station, fencing and landscaping. Other improvements include benches for onlookers and two gated entrances allowing easy access to the track for parents and caregivers.

The $94,000 project was funded by Proposition K and was built by Recreation and Parks construction forces and their subcontractors. The community of Encino helped prepare the detailed program which created the basis for the overall project design.

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711

Dedication Ceremony and Baseball Opening Day

Los Angeles - Evergreen's 2006 Baseball League Teams received a huge surprise on Opening Day. Over 300 youngsters got the chance to meet former Dodger Willie Davis, Coach Manny Mota and Manager Grady Little.

The three Dodger celebs made special appearances at Evergreen Recreation Center, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks' facility, to help unveil a new "Dodger Dream Field" on Saturday, May 6, 2006.

The event was emceed by Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Jaime Jarrin. Councilmember Jose Huizar was in attendance, as well as hundreds of local area children and representatives from (event sponsors) the Dodgers, AAF, Bank of America and the Department of Recreation and Parks.

The $220,000 improvement project at Evergreen transformed an aging baseball diamond that anchored the community for three generations. In the 1940’s, the chorizeros—an amateur adult team run by a Boyle Heights Chorizo manufacturer—dominated the infield. Today the field is home turf to the Roosevelt High School team and Evergreen’s Little League.

Evergreen’s improved baseball diamond is the sixth Dodger Dream Field for the Department. The Dodger Dream Foundation was created in 1998 to provide educational, athletic and recreational opportunities for youth of the Greater Los Angeles community. The foundation has been in partnership with the Department since 2002.

The new field boasts a synthetic infield, state-of-the-art lighting and bleachers, dugout covers, improvements to the irrigation system and two new electronic scoreboards. The project also included $100,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations to enhance programming at the park, including the creation of a girls’ softball team.

After the Dedication Ceremony, Evergreen players learned batting skills from Dodger coach, Manny Mota and former player, Willie Davis. Players also received blue and white Dodger baseball caps.

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Amy Garcia: (213)928-9289

Monday, May 08, 2006

9th Annual City of Los Angeles Arbor Day Celebration

Los Angeles - The 9th annual City of Los Angeles Arbor Day Celebration, a free event that focuses on trees and the environment, was held at Sycamore Grove Park, a Department of Recreation and Parks facility, on Saturday, April 29, 2006.

Among the activities offered were tree maintenance demonstrations, including tree climbing and both cross-cut and chain sawing, as well as arts and crafts for the kids, live entertainment from California Jammin, a chance to visit with Smokey the Bear, informational and educational booths, free tree seedings, mulch, compost and more.

A welcoming ceremony was held at noon, after which 15 trees were planted on the park grounds. Event co-sponsors were the departments of Recreation and Parks, Public Works and Water and Power.

Arbor Day, which is a national celebration, was first celebrated in Nebraska in 1872 in response to a state proclamation urging settlers and homesteaders in that prairie state to plant trees that would provide shelter, shade, fruit, fuel and beauty for residents of the largely treeless plains. National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates according to their best tree-planting times.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294, or cell, (323) 816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296, or cell, (323) 816-6711

At Hollenbeck Park in East Los Angeles

Los Angeles - The 32nd Feria de los Ninos Festival at Hollenbeck Park welcomed hundreds of Angelenos and others on the weekend of April 22-23, 2006 to celebrate the wonder of youth.

The free event offered families a festive atmosphere with a variety of activities which included boat rides on the lake in vessels adorned with flowers, salsa tasting, a tortilla making contest, skate park events, a fun zone and 2K run for kids, art and poetry contests, plenty of ethnic food and much more.

Both days featured live entertainment, as well as an outdoor amphitheatre and dance pavilion highlighting popular Latin music such as merengue and salsa.

Councilmember Jose Huizar was at the celebration as well as the Department's General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri.

Rededication Ceremony and Baseball Opening Day

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks held a Rededication Ceremony and Baseball Opening Day at Bellevue Recreation Center on April 22, 2006. The ceremony marked the completion of the Bellevue outdoor improvement plan.

The forty-three year old City park recieved major changes and improvements thanks to a plan that was initiated by the Los Angeles for Kids Steering Committee. The improvements include a newly constructed play area, a walkway/jogging trail and picnic pavilion with tables and barbecues. Bellevue's two baseball fields have also been refurbished into multi-purpose fields with the installment of a new scoreboard, bleachers, dugouts and a batting cage.

The Department's General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri was in attendance along with Council President Eric Garcetti and many eagered Bellevue baseball players.

The $1,364,900 project was approved by the City Council in the 2002-2003 Proposition K Assessment.

Media Contacts:
Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711