Thursday, July 31, 2008

At Algin Sutton Recreation Center

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks, in partnership with Nike and the LA84 Foundation, dedicated a Play Court at Algin Sutton Recreation Center in South Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 29, 2008.

The new synthetic multi-purpose field replaced an old volleyball court and was installed through Nike's Let Me Play program. Let Me Play provides grants to community groups and government agencies to support the promotion of sports in an effort to get youth active.

Algin Sutton's refurbished field incorporates Nike Grind, recycled material from footwear manufacturing and worn out athletic shoes. Nike Grind is used in sports surfaces such as basketball courts, running tracks, soccer fields and playgrounds. For each sports field constructed with Nike Grind, approximately 75,000 pairs of shoes and many pounds of rubber manufacturing waste do not end up in landfills.

The Dedication Ceremony took place on the new high-tech soccer field on Tuesday evening. Councilmember Bernard C. Parks was in attendance along with representatives from Recreation and Parks, Nike and the LA84 Foundation. Jorge Campos, one of Mexico's most popular and accomplished professional soccer players, was the special guest.

Campos is one of the most recognizable faces of soccer in the world and a Mexican icon. He is best known for his charismatic style of play and his brightly-colored uniforms which became his trademark throughout his career. Campos played more than 130 games for the Mexican National team and played in two World Cups to become one of the most respected goal keepers in the world.

The new soccer field is the second completed play surface that is part of the commitment between Nike and the LA84 Foundation to build and/or refurbish 84 playgrounds and/or sports fields throughout Los Angeles. Nike Inc., is the world's leading designer marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. The LA84 Foundation was established to manage Southern California's share of the surplus from the highly successful 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The Foundation's mission is to serve youth through sport and to increase knowledge of sport and its impact on people's lives.

Algin Sutton Recreation Center is located at 8800 South Hoover Street, Los Angeles, 90044. For more information on this location or any other Department programs, please visit our website at or call (213) 928-9200.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294

At Westwood Recreation Complex in West Los Angeles

Los Angeles - Recreation and Parks Commission President Barry Sanders and Councilmember Jack Weiss accepted Laing Luxury's $500,000 donation to the L.A. Parks Foundation on Thursday, July 24, 2008. The generous gift will be used for improvements to Westwood area facilities including major enhancements to the Westwood Recreation Complex.

The donated $500,000 will be combined with local Quimby and Prop K funds to install a new $1.2 million HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and refurbish the gymnasium, stage and pool. Pool improvements will include new security cameras, interior and exterior paint, backboard and goals, lights, chairs, windows, diving board, diving towers and a scorboard for competitions. Construction is expected to total approximately $1.6 million and will begin in the fall.

Tom Redwitz of Laing Luxury presented Commission President Barry Sanders and Councilmember Weiss with a check on Thursday afternoon outside of the Recreation Complex. Laing Luxury is a local subsidiary of Emaar Properties PJSC, one of the world's largest real estate companies, which is building a condominium tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Club View Drive.

"The new Los Angeles Parks Foundation is delighted to receive this generous donation from Laing Luxury for the enhancement of our wonderful Westwood Recreation Complex. This is our Foundation's first major grant, and will set a standard for the Foundation's future work on behalf of our parks. We thank Tom Redwitz and Laing Luxury," said Commission President Barry Sanders.

The Westwood Recreation Complex provides a wide variety of activities and programs. Programs include soccer, gymnastics, racquetball, volleyball, basketball, dance, art programs and adjacent tennis courts. Westwood Aquatic Center's indoor pool, built in 1988, is one of the City's newer pools and is used for swimming lessons, adult lap swim and swim teams. Westwood Rec Complex is located at 1350 South Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90025.

For more information on the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks please visit our website at or call (213) 928-9200.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dedication of Downey Child Care Center

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks is dedicating a new Child Care Center at Downey Recreation Center in East Los Angeles on Thursday, July 17, 2008. The new facility is the 26th state licensed child care center operated by the Department and will provide quality and affordable services for up to 44 children.

The 3,400-square-foot center features one large classroom which has been broken up into numerous learning centers, a high speed computer workstation area and office space for the Director and staff. The new facility also includes a 2,100-square-foot outdoor patio activity area, kitchenette and security system.

The $2 million project was designed and constructed by the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Engineering. Funding was provided by Propositions K and A, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the City Capital Improvement Funds.

The new Child Care Center is located at 219 South Avenue 18, Los Angeles 90031. For more information on this center or the Department in general, visit our website at or call (213) 928-9200.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294

The 31st annual event celebrating Asian cultures at Echo Park

LOS ANGELES – The 31st Lotus Festival, celebrating the people and cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands, was held on Friday, July 11, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday, July 12, 2008, from noon to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday, July 13, 2008, from noon to 8:30 p.m., around and on the lake at Echo Park, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility located near downtown.

This year, the Festival highlighted the people and cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands. A fabulous fireworks display over Echo Park Lake took place both Friday and Saturday at 9:00 p.m. with the legendary Taiko Drummers playing in the background.

Festival events included cultural entertainment on two stages, the International Marketplace featuring arts and crafts, and artisans and boutiques. There was also a variety of exotic foods and beverages, martial arts exhibitions, an art show, dragon boat races on the lake, and more.

Artisans-at-work were on hand to demonstrate their skills on the beautifully decorated Flower Island Pavilion. Their artwork illustrated their spirit, tradition and pride of the Asian and Pacific Islander handiwork. This included: paper-cutting, hand painted scrolls, calligraphy, plant and flower expertise, fish, birds and other Asian artifacts and wares.

The Health Fair featured educational lectures on holistic fitness. Other services provided included free screenings, information and referrals. The Community Services featured a variety of organizations offering free information, assistance and referrals in areas of employment, social services, immigration, legal services, education, housing and translating.

The Art Show Exhibit featured artwork with the “Lotus Flower” theme. The 2008 exhibit was open for viewing during Festival hours at the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, 850 Echo Park Avenue, located across the street from the boathouse.

The International Boutiques offered a variety of Asian and Pacific Islander items and gifts for sale including clothing, jewelry, artwork, hand-made crafts, incense, body oils and much more. The Children's Courtyard gave children the opportunity to learn Asian and Pacific Islander arts & crafts, enjoy live music, stories, songs and dances.
The Queens and their Courts representing local communities were all in attendance in native dresses.

Dragon Boat Races were held both days with media, community service groups, political and business organizations, local colleges and universities all competed for awards, while enjoying a day on the lake.

The Department of Recreation and Parks would like to thank everyone who was involved in this year's event and all of the wonderful L.A. residents who attended the 2008 Lotus Festival.
Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294
Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Dedication of Telfair Park in Sylmar

Sylmar - The Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated Telfair Park on Saturday, June 28, 2008. Sylmar's new park offers much-needed green space to the children and families in the area because there are currently no public parks within walking distance of the site.

The new park has an extraordinary story. In 2007, the Tessera Sylmar Homeowners Association made plans to donate a 1.56 vacant acre lot for the proposed Telfair Park to the Department. ValleyCresy Landscape Companies (the nation's leading provider of integrated landscape services since 1949) generously joined the group’s donation and on March 1, 2007, the transformation of an empty and barren lot into a community park took place in just one day. Telfair Park was built by over 150 ValleyCrest managers and executives from across the nation who had gathered in Los Angeles for an annual corporate meeting. The Company donated labor, plants and materials at no cost to the taxpayers, saving the City and residents over $500,000.

Telfair Park features include a practice soccer field, a picnic area, a walking path, and a playground. The new park is located at 15721 Cobalt Avenue, Sylmar 91342.

This isn’t the only project that Recreation and Parks and ValleyCrest Landscape Companies, are partnering on. The Department recently initiated the Smart Irrigation Program. The goal of the program is to develop and promote water conservation and maximize landscape water use efficiency at City parks. Another objective is to employ at-risk young adults, between the ages of 18 and 24, and provide them with hands-on training skills in basic landscape irrigation construction. Burton Sperber, the owner of ValleyCrest, has offered to hire at least twelve Smart Irrigation employees when they finish their training, providing them with a wonderful employment opportunity. The young adults in the Smart Irrigation Program attended the Telfair Park dedication.

The Department wishes to thank Mr. Sperber and his company for their generous support of the Department of Recreation and Parks. The Department also acknowledges the generous donation from the Tessera Sylmar Homeowners Association.

For more information about Recreation and Parks, visit our website at or call (213) 928-9200.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294