Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A new multipurpose facility in South L.A.

Los Angeles - For over 60 years, the property on Figueroa and 70th Street was vacant and barren. Until community members came together and decided to initiate the development of a park facility. After many years of hard work and dedication, the Department of Recreation and Parks proudly dedicated and opened the South Los Angeles Sports Activity Center on May 21, 2009.

The project was truly a team effort with three very important players; the Bureau of Engineering, Recreation and Parks and the community. General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri, Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, City Engineer Gary Lee Moore and community members were all in attendance to celebrate their rewarding achievement.

The 7,000-square-foot facility features: one 2,000-square-foot multipurpose room, two classrooms, an administrative office, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant restrooms and a lobby area. The project also included a new parking lot, landscaping and irrigation system.

The $3 million project was designed by the Architectural Division of the Bureau of Engineering in the City's Department of Public Works. The Bureau's Recreational and Cultural Facilities Program managed the project, which was built by Tobo Construction Inc. of Los Angeles. Funding came from the Community Development Grant and Propositions K, A, 12 and 40.

The South Los Angeles Sports Activity Center will not only provide local residents with various recreational opportunities, but the facility will also be used by the LAPD 77th Division's Jeopardy Program. The Jeopardy Program is a gang prevention/intervention program for youth ages 8 to 17 and their parents. The program combines the strength of the community, neighborhood schools and Police Department to create positive lifelong attitude changes in at-risk youth.

The Sports Activity Center is located at 7020 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90003. For more information on the new facility or the Department, please visit our website at http://www.laparks.org/ or call (213) 202-2700.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dedication of a 75,000-gallon water tank

Los Angeles - In honor of the 2nd Anniversary of the Griffith Park fire the Department of Recreation and Parks along with Councilmember Tom LaBonge, DWP Assistant General Manager Jim McDaniel and Fire Chief Douglas Barry dedicated a new water tank at Travel Town Transportation Museum on Thursday, May 7, 2009.

The 750,000-gallon tank will be used to fight future fires in the 4,217-acre park. Griffith Park is the largest municipal park with urban wilderness in the United States. Brush fire present a definite safety hazard, especially from Spring to Fall, when the natural chaparal and underbrush is very dry.

"The Travel Town water tank is a great assest to Griffith Park," said Fire Chief Douglas Barry. Over the past ten years, the DWP has been working on improving the water system at Griffith Park by installing over 200 fire hydrants and two water tanks. The Travel Town tank is the third tank in the new system. The Water Tank will also be used to irrigate the western areas of the park.

On May 8-9, 2007 a major wildfire burned more than 800 acres of parkland in Griffith Park. The Bird Sanctuary, Dante’s View and Captain’s Roost were all destroyed. The blaze also threatened the Los Angeles Zoo, the Griffith Observatory and one of the largest Universally Accessible Playgrounds in Los Angeles, Shane’s Inspiration. Hundreds of people were evacuated and one home was damaged. Fortunately no lives were lost. The May 2007 fire was the third major blaze in Griffith Park history

For more information on this event of the Department, please call (213) 202-2700 or visit our website at http://www.laparks.org/.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694


Los Angeles - The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks proudly dedicated the 13th Universally Accessible Playground (UAP) at Benny H. Potter Park on Saturday, May 2, 2009. The new playground will provide endless opportunities for children of all abilities to play together.
Benny H. Potter’s UAP is approximately 8,400 square feet in size and features rubberized and decorative resilient surfacing, mister sprays, swing sets, and interactive sensory panels. The area also includes new landscaping, irrigation, benches, and shading canopies. The playground’s innovative design will help encourage and stimulate interactive play for children of all abilities, as well as providing a safe environment for the community to enjoy.

The UAP is a project of Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization started by Catherine Curry-Williams and friend Tiffany Harris. In 1997, after Catherine’s two-week old son Shane subsided to spinal muscular atrophy (a disorder that would have left him severely disabled had he survived), she was influenced by an article from an East Coast newspaper about a family who had also lost a child and its decision to turn its grief into action by creating a playground. Encouraged by the story and the realization that there were no wheelchair-accessible playgrounds in the West Coast, Shane’s Inspiration was born.

The Universally Accessible Playground was designed by the City’s Bureau of Engineering Architectural Division and Shane’s Inspiration. The general contractor for the project was Horizon Construction, Inc. The $580,000 project was funded by California Propositions 12 and 40 and the Capital Improvement Expenditure Program.
It is the Department of Recreation and Parks’ goal to open at least one UAP in each of the 15 City council districts -- through the development of new playgrounds or expansion and modification of existing playgrounds. There are currently five additional UAPs on the drawing board.

Benny H. Potter Park is located at 2413 Second Avenue, Los Angeles 90018. For more information on this location or the Department, please call (213) 202-2700 or visit our website at http://www.laparks.org/.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Exhibit opens on Earth Day at Exposition Park's Rose Garden

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks celebrated Earth Day by opening the Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet exhibit at Exposition Park's Rose Garden on April 22, 2009. The 50 super-sized globes depict everyday solutions to global warming. Governer Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri were all in attendance, along with 350 school children, to help spread the message of conservation and climate protection.

The five-foot diameter, seven-foot-tall Cool Globes, designed by local and national artists each convey different messages about what ordinary citizens can do to combat global warming. Cool Globes was inspired by Chicago-area environmental activist Wendy Abrams. Abrams created Cool Globes to show that, "there are solutions and simple actions we all can take in our daily lives to help reduce climate change. Cool Globes is a way to help people see that the situation is not hopeless. We all have the power to do something and together we can have an impact".

In addition to the large globes displayed inside the Rose Garden, there are dozens of mini-Cool Globes will be on display at the California Science Center, Natural History Museum and California African-American Museum. The mini-globes are designed and/or autographed by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Robert Redford; athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods; as well as President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and more.

Los Angeles is the final stop on a three-city California tour, which included displays in San Francisco and San Diego. The Cool Globes exhibit will be on display at the Exposition Park Rose Garden until July 23, 2009. The Rose Garden is open everyday from 8:30 am to dusk. For more information, please call the Rose Garden directly at (213) 748-4772 or the Department's general information line at (213) 202-2700. For more information on the Cool Globes project, visit their website at http://www.coolglobes.org/.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694