American Planning Association, Planning Magazine: “Putting Greenways First” Special issue on Sustaining Places, August/Sept. 2011
Kayak Launch: Los Angeles Conservation Corps permitted to run kayaks down LA River, From Balboa Park to Burbank Avenue, August-September, 2011
Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar calls for creation of 21st Century National Advisory Committee on Service Corps
Board of Public Works Commissioner Valerie Shaw showcased changes and challenges in South Central Los Angeles, at a recent Summit held at City Hall in July, 2011.
Redfields to Greenfields report was completed by the Verde Coalition, with assistance from a host of City agencies and non profit groups, the Speedwell Foundation, University of Georgia Tech, and the 606 Design Studio at Cal Poly Pomona. For more information, please contact Stephanie Taylor of GreenLA.
The City Parks Alliance, will visit Occidental College in October, to bring together members statewide. Updates on Redfields to Greenfields, and other innovated park planning practices will be featured. Board members of the CPA will also be in attendance. For more information contact Jessica Gudmonson.
Kayak services are being offered on a first come first serve basis to river naturalists who want to kayak down the Los Angeles River this August and September. Sign-up on-line only. For more information please contact Irene Lopez of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.
If you notice graffiti or dumping along the Los Angeles River, between the Arroyo Seco and Balboa Park, please contact the Los Angeles Conservation River Corps, who assists the City in maintaining the area clean. Please contact Pablo Cardoso.
The last round of Prop 84 River Greenways grants was released in August. Applications are due in October. For more information please contact Polly Escobedo of State Resources Agency.
The San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps is calling for volunteer gardeners and organic farmers to assist them the redevelopment of their Earthworks Farm, located off of Lerma Road in Whittier Narrows (north of the Pomona Freeway, at Santa Anita Avenue exit).
Construction at two Community School Parks began this summer, thanks to funding from the Board of Education, Joint Use program, and People for Parks.
The new Plaza de Arte y Cultura, recently opened across the street from Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles. The new County owned museum is a joint project with the non -profit board of “Plaza” led by Supervisor Gloria Molina and the Smithsonian National Museum. It is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t yet been.
Los Angeles Conservation Corps, is one of UAP’s newest clients. In conjunction with Carrie Sutkin, LACC’s Bo Savage and Bruce Saito developed a list of projects for funding, along the LA and Rio Hondos. Funds are available through the County’s Open Space District excess funds program. The First District approved four projects for design, build including: Improvements to the area around and beneath the Beverly Bridge near Grant Rea Park and the Rio Hondo Bike Trail; the Roosevelt Trail Head Park also in Montebello, an equestrian trail in Whittier Narrows, and a bike trail rest stop on Firestone Boulevard in South Gate. Our Goal is to have these projects completed in 2012. Stay tuned.
Watershed Conservation Authority (WCA): The WCA, a joint use authority between the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and the LA County Flood Control District, is considering a grant to the recently selected design and planning team made up of Urban Assessment Planners, Blue Green, Withers and Sandgreen and others, to develop final designs, environmental documents, and an implementation plan for the Emerald necklace Trail System. The lands of interest in the study are those owned by LA County but have a higher potential use as multi-benefit recreation trails and mini-parks.
People for Parks recently promoted Carrie Sutkin to Programs Director. Her main responsibilities continue to be the Community School Parks Program for which she received two grants and a third is pending. Community School Parks: there are a total of our LAUSD elementary school campuses whose playgrounds will become parks in 2011 thanks for People for Parks, Board President Monica Garcia, LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge and the Joint Use Division Director, at LAUSD Ana Lasso. Thanks also go to Blue Green Landscape Architecture and Hydrologic Engineering firm, Principals: Lynne Dwyer and Martin Kammerer, for their sustainable design, which formed the basis for the LAUSD prototype Community School Park.
Green Teams: Federal Representative Xavier Becerra assisted People for Parks with an earmark grant for $165,000 for a training program for at risk youth, to become trained park and recreation supervisors at the new Community School Parks.
Another recognition of the importance of Community School Parks, came in the approval by the State for a $250,000 planning grant to People for parks, for the Pico Union area. The study will look not only at elementary school playgrounds as prospective community school parks, but it will also look at ways the city and planning department and County health department can assist in making joint use a reality at more inner-city existing schools, and by improving those urban landscapes by appropriating adjacently owned public -lands as open green spaces for trails and passive uses.
A third Grant for $1,7500,000 in State Bond funds, to augment the proposed Trinity Community School Park, so that it serves as a regional and neighborhood park, is pending final recommendation.