Los Angeles receives more than $19 million from state to create, fix up parks

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday that $19.2 million in state funding will be used to improve two existing city parks and create two new ones in underserved neighborhoods.

"Parks are the heart of our city because they are where people of all ages can come together to create a sense of community and belonging," Garcetti said. "New funds flowing into these neighborhoods means that we can provide more opportunities for Angelenos to get out on the field, enjoy healthy recreation and connect with nature and the outdoors."

Through Proposition 68 funds, the city received the largest sum of grants of any agency in California, which includes:    

--More than $4.8 million to improve Lincoln Heights Recreation Center in Council District 1 with a new synthetic soccer field, shade structures, public art, a walking path, fitness equipment, lighting and landscaping, barbecue and picnic area, a playground and more;
--More than $2.1 million for updates at El Sereno Arroyo Playground in Council District 14 for similar improvements;
--Nearly $7 million to build the planned Allegheny Park in Council District 6; and
--More than $5 million to create Brooklyn Heights Park in Council District 14, which will cover the costs to acquire the 0.2 acres of land and install equipment.

"Strong neighborhoods start with strong parks," said Councilman David Ryu, who is the chair of the City Council committee that oversees its parks. "When we invest in public parks, we invest in the building blocks of community. These are the spaces where neighbors meet neighbors, where new connections are made and where kids can have fun. This new funding will allow us to go even further in improving Los Angeles City parks."

The city's Department of Recreation and Parks held 111 community meetings for Proposition 68 applications last summer. Designs for each of the projects are expected to be complete this fall, and the projects are expected to break ground before the end of the year. All work to improve and build the four parks is required to be complete by June 2022, city officials said.