Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reseda students help Lake Rehabilitation Project

Reseda - Forty Reseda High School students helped install floating islands at Reseda Park Lake on December 17, 2010. The volunteer mission was part of the Reseda Park Lake Rehabilitation Project, which has been underway since August 2010, and was designed to create a more healthy lake.

From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm the students assisted staff with the installation of seven floating islands that consist of a multiple layer of recycled matrix held together by marine-grade foam. The students from Reseda High School's Science Magnet Program also learned about the environmental benefits of the floating islands, which include improved water quality through nutrient uptake, the provision of fish and wildlife habitat and a more attractive park environment.

The Rehabilitation Project is a partnership between RAP, the Office of Councilman Dennis Zine (3rd District) and Public Works. The improvement project is being funded through a $1.169 million State Proposition 40 grant. Engineering improvements, such as the installation of a new aeration system, have already been made by the City's contractor Metro Builders.

The floating islands, totaling 5,000-square-feet, were manufactured for the project by Floating Islands West located in Mokelumne Hill, California and will be anchored at various points in the lake. The islands are a biological approach that yield multiple benefits for the lake's habitat.

THANK YOU Reseda High School for making an island of a difference!!!

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

At Rancho Cienega Sports Complex

Los Angeles - This year Santa got help from some TALL helpers! He sent six special visitors to Rancho Cienega Sports Complex on December 13, 2010 to make a difference in the lives of 2,400 needy families.

The Los Angeles Clippers Foundation in a joint effort with Feed The Children, The Department of Recreation and Parks and the Salvation Army Siemon Family Youth and Community Center provided 1,600 families from Rancho Cienega Sports Complex and 800 families from the Siemon Family Center with food and every day essentials.

Clippers players Eric Bledsoe, Brain Cook, Ryan Gomes, Eric Gordon, Craig Smith and Willie Warren; along with Clippers staff and season ticket holders handed out food boxes, books and toys to help brighten the lives of children and families in Los Angeles during the holiday season.

The Los Angeles Clippers Foundation exists to foster and support community outreach programs and activities with positive educational, civic, environmental and humanitarian values that benefit and enhance the quality of life primarily for children in greater Los Angeles.

Founded in 1979, Feed The Children began as a nonprofit relief organization dedicated to stopping the needless hunger, suffering and death of hungry boys and girls around the world. Over the course of its 29 year history, Feed The Children has grown into one of the nation's largest, most efficient international charities. Today, Feed The Children delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack the basics they need to survive due to famine, war, poverty or natural disaster.

A special THANKS to all of the generous partners involved who made this charitable event possible!!!

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

Monday, December 20, 2010

The 17th Universally Accessible Playground at Glen Alla Park

West Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) proudly dedicated a Universally Accessible Playground (UAP) at Glen Alla Park on Thursday, December 16, 2010. Commission President Barry A. Sanders, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl (11th District), Brad Thornton from Shane's Inspiration and eagered children were all in attendance to celebrate the opening of RAP's seventeenth UAP.

The new limitless playground has a nautical theme and features a ship with a pelican mast head and steering wheel. The play equipment is painted in shades of blue and has decorative maritime-themed panels throughout the playground. Glen Alla's UAP also has a climbing rock designed for scaling with a grassy slope on the backside and a sensory tunnel where children can explore and discover fossils and other textures. There is an accessible sand table with a sea turtle transfer station that helps children in wheelchairs to easily transfer into the sand. Children can also wheel up to the accessible table and hunt for buried fossils. To complete the nautical theme, a huge whale serves as the center piece for the sand area and is perfect for children to climb on and pretend to harpoon.

The $900,000 project was funded by Quimby fees and designed by Shane's Inspiration. Shane's Inspiration is one of RAP's most powerful partners. Over the last 12 years, the Department of Recreation and Parks and Shane's Inspiration have revolutionized playground design and utilization.

Glen Alla Park is located at 4602 Alla Road, Los Angeles 90043. For more information on Glen Alla Park or other Department facilities and/or services call (213) 202-2700.

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dedication of The Carrot Seed Sensory Nook @ Aidan's Place

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks and Shane's Inspiration have created a strong and effective partnership over the last 12 years. Together we have built 17 Universally Accessible Playgrounds (UAPs) throughout the City of Los Angeles and revolutionized playground design and utilization. On December 9, we dedicated a Sensory Story Nook at Aidan's Place UAP at Westwood Recreation Complex and reached a new level of limitless play.

Opened in December 2001, the UAP at Westwood was dedicated in memory of Aidan James Gaffney whose parents initiated the project after visiting Shane's Inspiration in Griffith Park. Aidan was born with a rare muscular disorder that left him dependent on a ventilator and wheelchair. Aidan's Place was the second fully accessible playground in the United States.

The Gaffney Family have continued to support Aidan's Place and decided to create a special addition to the playground by raising funds for a Sensory Story Nook inspired by Aidan's favorite book, The Carrot Seed.

The new Carrot Seed Sensory Nook at Aidan's Place is a passive area for reading books with children or for quiet contemplation. The Nook is an ideal place for children with autism or other cognitive disabilities to withdraw from the action of the playground if it becomes overwhelming. It is designed so that the Redwood trees will eventually grow tall enough to provide a sense of enclosure to the space.

Two giant carrots are at the entrance of the sensory nook and the back of the sensory wall is tiled to depict the story of The Carrot Seed. Michelle Griffoul Studios created the tiles as a labor of love. The tiles are different textures and the letters are raised to aid children with sight impairment. There are buttons on the back of the wall that when pushed will emit different nature sounds. This will help children learn cause and effect and will also increase cognitive ability through identifying sounds and their sources. The inside of the nook is decorated with tiles created by Aidan's brothers and their second grade classmates. In addition, there is a poem dedicated to Aidan by his mother, Nicole.
The dedication was a special day for RAP and Aidan's Family. The Gaffney Family attended the celebration and Aidan's brothers helped cut the ribbon and officially open The Carrot Seed Sensory Nook.
Aidan's Place & The Carrot Seed Sensory Nook are located at Westwood Recreation Complex, 1350 Sepulveda in Los Angeles 9005. For more information on this location or the Department visit or call 213.202.2700.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Andrea Epstein: 213.202.2690 Amy A. Garcia: 213.202.2689

10th annual Polar Bear Swim at Hansen Dam Aquatic Center

Lake View Terrace - Looking for an exciting way to PLUNGE into 2011? Hansen Dam Aquatic Center will hold it's annual New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim at 8:00 am on Saturday, January 1, 2011. The chilly swim is open to anyone age eight or older.

Swimmers will get a certificate of participation at the FREE event and will enjoy refreshments and a bonfire that will warm them up after their frosty swim. Any and everyone are invited to take a plunge they will never forget and have a polar beary good time.

Hansen Dam Aquatic Center has a 1.5-acre man made swim lake and is located at 11798 Foothill Boulevard in the Lake View Terrace area of the northeast San Fernando Valley. For more information call Hansen Dam at (818) 899-3779.

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689
8th annual Train Ride to Santa's House at Travel Towm Museum

Griffith Park - The holiday season is here! Instead of waiting for Santa Claus to come to town, go and visit him while he makes his list and checks it twice and let him know you haven't been naughty but super nice!

For the 8th year in a row, Travel Town Transportation Museum in Griffith Park will host the annual Train Ride to Santa's House during the holiday season. On seventeen evenings between Thanksgiving and Christmas, families will be able to take a miniature train ride to visit jolly old Saint Nick.

The first train ride of the season will depart on Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm. Visitors will board at a festively decorated station while being entertained by a dazzling light show. Once aboard, passengers will travel past the reindeer barn and Santa's workshop before arriving at the North Pole, where photos with Father Christmas will be available. After their visit, guests will re-board the train and travel along the decorated 1/4-mile track back to the station.

Tickets are available by reservation and at the gate, if extra seating is available. Tickets are $7 per person; children 18 months or younger can ride for FREE. Reserved tickets can be purchased at the Travel Town ticket booth or online at Due to a 700 guest limit each evening, advanced ticket purchases are encouraged. Digital photographs with Santa will be available for $5.00 or guests may bring their own camera but will be limited to two shots.

The Train Ride to Santa's House is a wonderful alternative to visiting Santa at the mall and will be the only holiday light show in Griffith Park this year. The annual event is operated by Travel Town Transportation Museum in cooperation with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

This year's schedule is: November 27 & 28, December 3-5, 10-12 and 15-23 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (weather permitting train cannot operate in the rain). Travel Town is located at 5200 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles 90027.

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

Monday, December 06, 2010

Dedication Ceremony at Van Ness Rec Center

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated outdoor improvements at Van Ness Recreation Center on Tuesday, November 23, 2010. General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri, Councilmember Bernard C. Parks and City Engineer Gary Lee Moore were all on hand to celebrate the project's completion and help cut the big red ribbon.

Improvements included upgrades to the three baseball fields with the construction of a new batting cage (complete with a pitching machine), a walking track, new exercise equipment, two drinking fountains, new bleachers, dug-out benches and concrete and decomposed granite aprons. The $978,716 project also included the repair of the existing park boundary fence and refurbishment of the irrigation systems.

The new exercise equipment is grouped in three different stations along the walking track and will provide the community with a great way to exercise and stay healthy. The cardiovascular equipment uses the body's mass for resistance instead of a weighted system, which allows it to be used by people of all ages and stages of physical fitness, with no concern of injury. The easy-to-use fitness equipment is designed to be durable, vandal resistant and used in various configurations.

Van Ness Recreation Center is located at 5720 2nd Avenue, Los Angeles 90043. For more information on this location or other department facilities or programs, please call (213) 202-2700.

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

13th annual Downtown On Ice at Pershing Square

Downtown Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks celebrated the return of Downtown On Ice at Pershing Square on Thursday, November 18, 2010. RAP's General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri along with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilwoman Jan Perry official opened the outdoor skating rink with special guests The Rockettes.

In its 13th season, Downtown On Ice provides spectacular holiday fun under the sun and stars at picturesque Pershing Square, 532 South Olive, is open everyday from November 18, 2010 through January 17, 2011.

The tradition continues with Los Angeles' largest outdoor skating rink with the lowest admission price of just $6. As a favorite holiday destination, the facility boasts a medley of FREE events including a holiday concert series, a Winter Holiday Festival, championship skating exhibits and much more.

Framed by towering skyscrapers and stunning historical landmarks, the rink is made possible thanks to sponsorship by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and Councilwoman Jan Perry (9th District).

Centrally located in the heart of the City of Angels, the facility is easily accessible by car, bus or Metro. The convenient stop at Pershing Square Station makes getting there easy. Underground discount parking is available with validation. For more information and a detailed session schedule go to or call (213) 847-4970.