Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dedication of $2.5 million in improvements to pool and recreation center

Los Angeles - On June 18, 1961, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks celebrated the Grand Opening of Westchester Swimming Pool and Bathhouse. The pool quickly became a popular destination for summer swimming.

Almost 50 years later, Westchester Pool is still a popular summer location and the Department is helping it to stay that way by keeping the facility in top shape. On Monday, June 26, 2010, the Department re-opened Westchester Pool with major improvements.

The renovation project included a new deck, filtration system, and heater, changing room, sinks and showers and paint throughout. The front office counter was also refurbished, immediate pool surroundings were cleaned up and redecorated, the plumbing and electrical systems were renovated, landscaping was enhanced and more.

The Department also celebrated the completion of improvements to the adjacent recreation center. These upgrades included waterproofing of masonry walls around the perimeter of the gymnasium, installation of resilient surfacing at the existing play area and re-striping and disabled access improvements in the parking lot.

All design and construction work was performed by the Department's Planning and Construction Division. Funding for all components came from developer fees.

Westchester Pool is located at 9100 Lincoln Blvd in Los Angeles 90045 and Westchester Recreation Center address is 7000 West Manchester Avenue. For more information about this location or the Department of Recreation and Parks visit our website at http://www.laparks.org/ or call (213) 202-2700.

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Monday, July 19, 2010

All the details on Summer Swimming at L.A. pools

Los Angeles - With the temperatures rising, more and more people are looking for easy and affordable ways to stay COOL. The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks has a solution to your HOT dilemma, visit one of our City pools!!

The Department's Aquatics Division operates over 50 swimming pools, 16 year-round and 35 seasonal locations. Seasonal locations are open from mid-June to late-August. These outdoor facilities offer morning and afternoon public swim sessions and year-round pools offer afternoon and evening swim sessions. The seasonal pools are generally open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays and 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm on weekends. Hours of operation vary per facility for year-round locations.

In addition, three seasonal pools are offering evening swimming this summer thanks to the Summer Night Lights program. Jackie Tatum/Harvard Aquatic Facility will be open until 8:00 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays. Glassell Pool will be open from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Thursday and Friday. Hubert Humphrey will be open for evening swim sessions until 8:00 pm Wednesday through Saturday.

City pools can be found throughout Los Angeles, from Peck Park Pool in San Pedro to Fernangeles Pool in Sun Valley to Pecan Pool in East Los Angeles to Jackie Tatum/Harvard Aquatic Facility in South Los Angeles. L.A. pools are open to all residents and are an inexpensive way to stay cool on a hot summer day.

Swimming is FREE for children ages 17 or younger, seniors 65 or older and the disabled. There is a $2.50 fee for adults (ages 18-64) but those who have a City Library Card get a reduced rate of $2. Children ages 3-6 must be potty-trained and accompanied by an adult at ALL times. Children under 3 must wear a swim diaper.

Los Angeles City pools offer a wide variety of aquatic activities and programs. Lap, recreational and adaptive swimming, water exercise and private, semi-private and/or group swim lessons are all available. Junior Lifeguard Programs and Team Sports, such as Water Polo and Synchronized Swimming are also available through the Department's Aquatics Division.

Some pools also have special features that are perfect for young swimmers. Eight Department pools have water slides; Hansen Dam, Hollywood, Hubert Humphrey, Jackie Tatum/Harvard, Northridge, Sepulveda, Stoner and Sun Valley. Splash Pads are also available at seven pools and/or parks; Jackie Tatum/Harvard, Juntos Park, North Hollywood, Panorama, Queen Anne, Saint Andrews and Stoner Park. Splash Pads are ideal for small children, who have not yet mastered the art of swimming. With zero depth standing water and rubber surfacing there is practically no risk of drowning.

Some rules to remember when visiting a City pool:
1. Entrance will be denied to any children under 7-years-old, unless accompanied by an adult on a one-to-one ratio.
2. Absolutely NO pets are allowed inside City pools.
3. The following items are not allowed in the pool or deck area:
Street clothes and shoes, floating apparatus, glass objects or containers of any kind, sports or swim equipment and radios or I-Pods.
4. Smoking, eating or drinking is not allowed in the pool or dressing area.
5. All swimmers must wear proper swim attire. Men must wear swim trunks with a liner and a drawstring. Ladies must wear a bathing suit (one-piece or two-piece).
6. The following attire is NOT permitted in the pool:
cut-off, biker basketball or jean shorts, white t-shirts or shirts of any kind and bodysuits or leotards
***Failure to follow rules and guidelines will result in a non-admittance or expulsion from the pool grounds.***

For more information or to find a City pool close to you, please call the Aquatics Division at (323) 906-7953 or visit the Department website at www.laparks.org/dos/aquatic/aquatic.htm.

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dedication of a new solar panel system

Los Angeles - For the first time ever, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility will go completely off the City's electrical grid by using solar energy to provide clean, renewable electrical power. The Department dedicated and officially pulled the plug on Pecan's "Off-the-Grid" Project on Wednesday, July 14, 2010, further demonstrating the City's commitment to reducing the use of fossil fuels.

The new solar panels were installed over the renovated outdoor basketball/volleyball pavilion and will generate enough energy to power 22 homes, creating more energy then the park actually needs. The system is estimated to generate 46,382 kilowatt hours (KWh) of electricity per year. Only a small amount of the electricity produced will "feed" the park's child care center, office and restroom buildings, while the majority will be transmitted to the utility.

The Off-the-Grid Project also includes improvements to the outdoor basketball/volleyball pavilion (new concrete floor, backboards, rims and nets, refurbishing and repainting of the roof and installing screens to prevent birds from entering the interior of the structure's frame) and the new playground and picnic area.

Harry Surmenian, a recently retired Recreation and Parks' employee, was honored at the celebration for leading the Department's solar initiative. The Department of Recreation and Parks also was honored with a $113,532.00 rebate check from the Department of Water and Power's Solar Program for the Pecan project.

Pecan Recreation Center is located at 145 South Pecan Street in Los Angeles 90033. For more information on this project or the Department of Recreation and Parks visit our website at www.laparks.org or call (213) 202-2700.

Kick-off celebration at the historic Griffith Park Pool

Los Angeles - The heat is back for the summer months and so are 33 seasonal pools run by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. The 2010 Summer Swim Season began with a kick-off celebration at the historic Griffith Park Pool on Friday, June 25.

The Department's 33 seasonal pool locations officially opened on Saturday, June 26 and will remain open through the end of August. Seasonal pools offer morning and afternoon public swim sessions. Additionally, 16 year-round pools began their summer schedule and offer afternoon and evening swim sessions to the general public.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, The Department of Recreation and Parks, Kaiser Permanente and The LA84 Foundation were all on-hand to help cut the red ribbon and make a splash to start the Summer Swim Season and Operation Splash.

The Department of Recreation and Parks is partnering for the fifth straight year with Kaiser Permanente for Operation Splash. For the 2010 summer, the Department received a $250,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente Southern California that will fund free swim lessons for 6,000 low-income youth and adults at 35 pools across the City. The program will also support free junior lifeguard training for 780 low-income youth at 49 City pools and extend the summer swim season for one week at seven locations serving about 10,000 pool patrons.

The LA84 Foundation is also joining the efforts to make youngsters water safe and provide them with the opportunity to participate in water polo, synchronized swimming and diving. Over the last 25 years the LA84 Foundation has consistently assisted the City's efforts to provide Los Angeles youth with access to quality sports programs.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks' Aquatic Division offers a variety of water activities, including recreational swimming, water awareness, adaptive swimming, Team Sports, Junior Lifeguard program and water exercise. For the 12th consecutive year, children age 17 or younger, seniors 65 or older and the disabled can swim for FREE at all City pools. Children ages 3-6 must be potty-trained and accompanied by an adult at all times; children under 3 must wear a swim diaper. The charge for adults ages 18-64 is $2.50; those with a City library card will pay $2.

For more information call the Department's Aquatic Division at (323) 906-7953 or e-mail at Citywide.Aquatics@lacity.org.

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Friday, July 02, 2010

2010 program will run from June 21 - August 20

Los Angeles - The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks will serve free lunches and snacks during summer 2010 to youth at more than 100 locations throughout the City. The program, which will begin June 21 and end August 20, is for children age 18 or younger. Serving times will vary. For more information, call (213) 202-2700 or 311, or go to www.laparks.org/dos/lunchprogram/lunch.htm.

The program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through its Summer Food Service Program. The goal of the program is to ensure children receive at least one nutritious and balanced meal per day when school is not in session.

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689
Recreation & Park's 4th of July Celebrations

Los Angeles - Have you made your 4th of July plans yet? Need some ideas? Here's a list of celebrations taking place at facilities operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks:

Hansen Dam Recreation Area in Lakeview Terrace is hosting their 16th annual 4th of July Spectacular on Saturday, July 3 from 11:00am to 6:00pm and Sunday July, 4 from 3:00pm to 10:00pm. The two-day event will have live music and other entertainment, rides, games, food, prizes and is FREE. The fun-filled festivities will culminate with one of the most spectacular fireworks show in the area called "Skies Over America." "Skies Over America" will be dedicated to all the hard working men and women across the country whom regardless of their cultural backgrounds, work together to keep America moving. This unique show will be orchestrated to patriotic music. Hansen Dam is located at 11770 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace 91342. For more information visit the event website at http://www.hansen4th.com/home/index.php. Don't forget your swimsuits! Hansen Dam's 1.5-acre swim lake will be open from 10:00am-7:00pm.

For the 59th year, Cabrillo Beach will host their FREE 4th of July celebration and fireworks show on Sunday, July 4 starting at 12:00pm and ending with a 20-minute pyrotechnic fireworks extravaganza at 9:00pm. Local San Pedro Bands and the Golden State Pops Orchestra will be playing a variety of Americana music. Tours of a Naval Vessel, Armed Forces and U.S. Coast Guard demonstrations and displays by the Los Angeles City Fire Department's firefighting boat will also be part of the celebration. For more information call (310) 548-7401 or visit http://cabrillobeachbathhouse.org/. Cabrillo Beach's address is 3720 Stephen White Drive, San Pedro 90731. Remember parking at the Beach is limited, a FREE shuttle service from 22nd and Miner Street will be available for visitors.

The 4th annual Boyle Heights Concert & Fireworks Show will be on Friday, July 2 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm at Hollenbeck Park. The concert begins at 4:00pm and the fireworks will light up the skies at 8:30pm. Hollenbeck Park is located at 415 South Saint Louis Street, Los Angeles 90033. For more information call (323) 261-0113.

El Sereno Recreation Center will be celebrating the 4th on Saturday, July 3 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. The 3rd annual El Sereno Concert & Fireworks Show & Independence Parade will provide guests with a free, safe and family-oriented event. The parade will start at 2:00pm on the corner of Huntington Drive and Van Horne and will end at El Sereno Park where the concert will kick-off at 4:00pm. The fireworks will start at 8:30pm. For more information call (323) 225-3517. El Sereno Recreation Center is located at 4721 Klamath Place, Los Angeles 90032.

The 4th of July Concert and Fireworks Show at Eagle Rock Recreation Center will be on Sunday, July 4 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. The concert begins at 4:00pm with fireworks at 8:30pm. The address is 1100 Eagle Vista Drive, Los Angeles 90041. For more information call (323) 257-6948.

Warner Park in Woodland Hills will be the site of Councilmember Dennis P. Zine's July 4th Extravaganza. The festival will be on Sunday, July 4 from 6:00pm to 9:30pm. Festivities include live music from Mrs. Robinson (a professional tribute band), food vendors, play zone and a 20-minute fireworks show at 9:05pm. For more information (818) 704-1358. Admission is FREE but parking is $15 in any of the Warner Center structures. Warner Park is located at 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills 91367.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks would like to wish everyone a HAPPY and SAFE Fourth of July!!!

Groundbreaking Ceremony at Rancho Cienega Sports Complex

Los Angeles - The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks in partnership with professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and Councilmember Herb J. Wesson broke ground for the Charmette Bonpua Safe Spot Skate Spot at Rancho Cienega Sports Complex on Thursday, June 17, 2010.

The $300,000 state-of-the-art skate plaza will provide the community with a modern street skating venue. The 15,000-square-foot skate park, which will feature steps and benches in a plaza setting, will be named in memory of Charmette Bonpua, Councilmember Wesson's late Chief of Staff who passed away in February. Bonpua was known for her passion of working with youth and was instrumental in securing the funding for the new skate spot.

The Rob Dyrdek Foundation provided $50,000 to design and assist in construction and Councilmember Wesson and the Department worked together to secure an additional $250,000 to complete the construction and landscaping improvements for the new skate park. When completed the Charmette Bonpua Safe Spot Skate Spot at Rancho Cienega Sports Complex will be the Department of Recreation and Parks' fourth collaboration with The Rob Dyrdek Skate Plaza Foundation and Council District 10's second Safe Spot Skate Spot (the first was at Lafayette Park).

The new skate plaza is expected to be completed in 5 weeks. Rancho Cienega Sports Complex is located at 5001 Rodeo Road, Los Angeles 90016. For more information on this location or the Department of Recreation and Parks, call (213) 202-2700 or visit our website at http://www.laparks.org/.

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689