Monday, August 28, 2006

Groundbreaking for Universally Accessible play area at Pan Pacific

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks and Councilmember Tom La Bonge broke ground to mark the start of construction on a new 17,000-square-foot Universally Accessible playground at Pan Pacific Recreation Center.

The new play area will be the 5th Universally Accessible playground operated by the Department. With over 160,000 special needs children in Los Angeles County, the new playground, which will be completely wheelchair accessible, will provide a brighter future for all children.

Pan Pacific's Accessible Playground is a project of Shane's Inspiration, an organization that is devoted to creating "boundless playgrounds" that provide opportunities for children with disabilities to play at their highest level. Shane's Inspiration in conjunction with the Department of Rec and Parks and Melendrez Design Partners of Los Angeles all contributed to the design of the new playground.

Features will include two separate portions for children ages 2-5 and 6-12. The 2-5 year old section will be in the shape of a train and have sound effects that include a whistle and an engine. A foot path with a water element that will provide a unique sensory activity, complete with gentle mist and artist created tiles. Shade will also be incorporated into the $675,000 art deco motif play area, as well as bright colors and opportunities to experience different textures.

Funding is coming from Prop K, developer fees, and a $200,000 donation from Legacy Partners, Incorporated. Thomsen Landscape of Reseda is the general contractor and the City's Department of Public Works' Bureau of Engineering will be managing the project.

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

Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711

Dedication of first phase of 100-acre Ascot Hills Park

Los Angeles - Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa and The Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated the first phase of the development of a 100-acre passive park and natural open space area in East Los Angeles on Saturday, August 19, 2006.

The new Ascot Hills Park will offer hiking and nature trails, an outdoor learning center for children as well as open grass areas. Phase I included development of the 40-acre southwest portion, added a new entry gate, improved hiking trails, vista/rest/picnic areas, a temporary gravel parking lot and a temporary restroom. This phase allows for the park to be open to the public while Phase II is designed.

Phase II calls for the development of the remaining 60 acres including an outdoor classroom, landscaping, irrigation, site utilities, restrooms and a permanent parking lot.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, while serving as the 14th District Councilmember, authored the $3 million grant in January 2004 and coordinated a grassroots campaign that sent thousands of letters to Governor Schwarzenegger. The grant was secured from Proposition 40, the "California Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002."

Until recently, the site has been used by the Department of Water and Power to train pole climbers and repairmen.

Dedication of expanded Pedlow Skate Park

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated a $2.1 million improvement project at Pedlow Skate Park in the San Fernando Valley on Friday, August 18, 2006. The skate park has been quadrupled in size, from 10,000-square-feet to 40,000-square-feet.

All of the new features to the five-year-old skate park are below ground level and include a snake run, both shallow and deep bowls to augment the existing sunken ramps, rails and stairs.

The firm David Evans & Associates of Ontario designed the expansion, which was built by the City's General Services Department and the California Skate Parks of Upland. The Bureau of Engineering in the City's Department of Public Works managed the project through its Recreational and Cultural Facilities Program.

Funding came from Propositions K, 12 and 40, all of which are voter-approved measures. When the skate park originally opened in February 2001 it was the first facility in the City of Los Angeles with such a unique in-ground design approach.

Since skateboarding is one of the fastest growing sports among children and is the third largest participant sport in the U.S. the new Pedlow Skate Park will surely be put to good use. The park is located at 17334 Victory Blvd. in Encino. There is an entrance fee of $1 per month for skaters under 18 and $5 per month for those over 18-years-old. Helmets, knee and elbow pads must be worn by all skaters. For more information call: (818) 266-6991.

Dedication of $5.6 million East Wilmington Community Center

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated a 10,000-square-foot Community Center in the Wilmington area on Saturday, August 19, 2006. The new East Wilmington Recreation Center will enhance the community’s appearance and provide residents with a clean, safe and local place to relax and gather.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn, City Engineer Gary Lee Moore and Wilmington residents of all ages attended the Dedication Ceremony. Banning High School's band “Cuerdas Sin Fronteras” provided entertainment and the presentation of colors was performed by Wilmington's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2967.

Features of the 10,000-square-foot facility include a gymnasium with a full-size basketball court with 6 backboards, an activities/community room and a lobby area. The new multi-use center also has a director’s office, restrooms that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, storage space and a rear parking lot.

Funding for the $4.6 million development came from Propositions K, 12 and 40. The project architect was ARQUITECTONICA. The Proposition K/L.A. for Kids Program Engineering Group of the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Engineering managed the project and the City’s General Services constructed the new facility.

The new center is located at 918 N. Sanford Avenue in Wilmington, CA 90744 and is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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

Dedication of $1.56 million in improvements

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated and opened the newly improved Trinity Recreation Center in South Los Angeles on Thursday, August 10, 2006. The $1.56 million project which resulted in about 1,000 square feet being added to the existing 4,600-square-foot structure is now open to the public.

Features include several restrooms that are Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, a meeting room/staff lunchroom, storage space, sidewalks and walkways, accessible drinking fountains, landscaping and irrigation system and more.

The improvements were designed by the Department of Recreation and Parks Planning and Construction staff, together with the Architectural Division of the Department of Public Works Bureau of Engineering, which also managed the project. The City's General Services Department was the general contractor. Project funding came from developer fees and Proposition A, a voter-approved initiative.

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

Free seminars will focus on improving preparation and protection

Los Angeles - The Forestry Division of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks held the first of six free workshops on safe palm tree trimming at Elysian Park on Saturday, August 5, 2006.

Together with Tony Macias and his company, Arbor Plus, the Department provided instructions in how to be better prepared for and protected during the trimming process. The program is supported by the office of Councilmember Ed P. Reyes (1st District).

The area of Elysian Park known as Palm Hill (corner of Stadium Way and Park Dr.), will be the site of the 5 remaining workshops, which will be held the last Saturday of September and October 2006 and January, February and March 2007.

Each class will run from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. and include detailed information on procedures and techniques to use when climbing and pruning palm trees. There will also be hands-on demonstrations and safety discussions covering protective equipment, climbing gear, friction hitches, chainsaw safety, first-aid in the field, aerial rescue and more.

All instruction will be conducted in both English and Spanish, and the curriculum adheres to all applicable International Society of Arboriculture and Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration standards. For more information, call (213)485-6547.

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