Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Groundbreaking for the new South L.A. location

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and First Lady Maria Shriver broke ground on the new Cesar E. Chavez park and playground in South Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 19, 2008.

The new pocket park will feature a 3,000-square-foot playground (with a rubberized surface), landscaping, a community garden and mural of Cesar Chavez. Over 200 volunteers helped prepare the playground equipment and plant the gardens.

KaBOOM! provided the playground equipment at no cost to the City, through a donation from the California Volunteers. KaBOOM! is a non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust also contributed $10,000 to the project and will be responsible for the maintenance and operations of the new quarter-acre park.

The neighborhood park represents a new type of public-private partnership in the City that will be the basis to help reach the goal of providing 35 new parks over the next five years. The corner site was going unused until the Department identified the location as an ideal pocket park and formed a partnership with KaBOOM!

The Department's General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri was also in attendance, along with the California Secretary of Service and Volunteer Karen Baker, KaBOOM! CEO/Founder Darrell Hammond and Cesar Chavez's son and Chair of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation Paul Chavez.

The new pocket park will provide South Los Angeles with much needed green and open space.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294
Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296

Monday, March 24, 2008

9th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

Los Angeles - A parade celebrating Irish heritage and cultural diversity in the City of Angels, and an outdoor concert of lively traditional songs and modern rock music were all part of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, March 17, 2008.

The ninth annual parade, presented by the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society, started at 11:30 a.m. at Olvera Street’s El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument and went south on Main St. to 5th St., then west to historic Pershing Square, where beginning at 12:30 p.m., the music of Young Dubliners added to the party to kick off the green workweek.

In addition to the concert, the water in the fountain at Pershing was dyed green, representative of what is done to the Chicago River each year on March 17. Food and beverage vendors were at the outdoor venue for this special lunchtime event, and O’Doul’s non-alcoholic brew were among the liquid refreshments available for purchase.

Pershing Square, a facility operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, is at 532 S. Olive St. For more information about the St. Patrick’s Day program and/or other events, call (213) 847-4970, or go to http://www.laparks.org/ (Special Venues, Pershing Square).

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294
Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

At Lake Balboa in Van Nuys

Van Nuys - Did you miss the annual bloom of the Japanese cherry blossom trees at Lake Balboa this year? Well here's your chance to get a glimpse of what you missed.

With over 2,000 cherry blossom trees at Lake Balboa, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility, the annual bloom is quite a sight to see. This year the trees were at full bloom during the week of March 10th.
The cherry trees are the Pink Cloud variety, which means that they are ornamental and not fruit-producing. The plants were donated by an anonymous Japanese benefactor and were planted in 1992. They originated from a single parent tree and were developed to grow in warm climates. The flower has a single row of petals in a circular shape, just like those that are found on cherry trees in Japan.
The beautiful blossoms create a pictureque display of natural beauty for park visitors. Lake Balboa/Beilenson Park offers a variety of activities for all ages to enjoy. There's a bicycle path, a separate walking/jogging path, picnic areas and a children's play area. Water enthusiasts can enjoy pedal boats, kayaking, fishing and more.Lake Balboa is located on Balboa Blvd., between Burbank Blvd. and Victory Blvd. For more information call (818)785-5798.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294
Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296

Friday, March 07, 2008

Renowned horticultural location will have two new varieties for 2008

LOS ANGELES – Two new varieties deemed the ones to grow in 2008 will be featured when the renowned Exposition Rose Garden, a facility operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and located at 701 State Dr. (near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum), re-opens on Saturday, March 15 following its annual winter pruning.

The additions are Dream Come True and Mardi Gras. The pair was chosen by the All-American Rose Selections organization as the best roses for the upcoming season. The Home Run, which also debuted in 2007, will be available for viewing.

In addition, three unnamed varieties that will be the 2009 roses of choice will be among the 165 styles of this enticing flower which can be seen and enjoyed. In all, the garden is home to about 10,000 rose bushes, as well as other distinctive landscaping.

Since 1928, the Department has operated and maintained the Rose Garden, which is visited by thousands of Angelenos and tourists annually, and is often used by residents as a place of quiet and refuge in an urban setting.

It offers a classic formal display of rose beds arranged in a grass-girded oval around a picturesque central fountain, with beautiful gazebos, making it a popular location for weddings and other events, and a backdrop for photos and filming, all of which permits are needed for.

The Rose Garden is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to dusk. For more information, call (213) 763-0114. For more information about the 2008 winning roses, go to http://www.rose.org/.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294
Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296
Registration under way for seasonal use of Camp High Sierra

LOS ANGELES – Registration is under way for summer use at Camp High Sierra, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks operated facility in the Mammoth Lakes area of the Sierra-Nevada Mountains.

Located 320 miles from Los Angeles, this scenic place is open during the summer for family camper, trailer, cabin, and tent camping. Amenities include tables and stoves at each campsite, hot showers, bathrooms, play areas for children, and a recreation lodge.

In addition to the facilities at Camp High Sierra, there are many picturesque spots in the area to visit and photograph. There are also opportunities in the Mammoth area to hike, swim, fish, bicycle, ride horses, and take overnight pack trips.

Fees to use the facility are $22 - $28 for a campsite, $40 - $45 for a cabin, with a dining hall/kitchen available for $85 per day. In addition, the town of Mammoth Lakes has levied a 13 percent occupancy tax that will be added to the fees.

Further details about Camp High Sierra are available on the Department of Recreation and Parks’ website
www.laparks.org/dos/camps/camps.htm. For more information about the site or to register for a trip, call the Department’s Camping Section office at (213) 485-4853. Office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294
Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296