We are getting a new park in Highland Park! It couldn’t be in a better location. What has been a ragged, fenced off vacant lot, at what is currently one of the “hippest” intersections in this very park-poor city, will finally become green, public space. We don’t know yet what will be inside the park (they are seeking public input), but the amenities that already exist outside the park will also contribute to its imminent success: bike lanes on York to and from the park (and The Bicycle Doctor right across the street if you are in need of any parts or repairs), Cafe de Leche right across the street (for a shot of caffeine or a delicious plachinta to take al fresco to enjoy), a busy art walk on the second Saturday of every month and increasingly vibrant street life all around the area.
How park poor is Los Angeles? According to a 2006 study by the Trust for Public Lands, we have only 4 acres per 1,000 residents (compared to the national standard set by the National Association of Recreation and Parks of 10 acres per 1,000 residents). To make matters worse, about one third of those acres are in large and remote parks — such as Griffith Park and Topanga State Park — that are not easily accessible to most residents, especially those who use public transit. In many parts of the city, there is virtually no open or green space. To help correct this, the LA Parks Foundation is partnering with the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department to build 50 new parks in the city, including this one at the corner of York and Avenue 50.
Some things I would personally like to see included in the park:
- Lots of seating of different types: to encourage gathering, relaxing, reading, etc.
- Shade, of course: preferably in the form of trees
- Water fountains for people and dogs
- An air station to fill bike tires
- Some innovative play equipment for kids
- Low-water and native plantings: possibly as a demonstration garden to show people how they can rethink their own yards and gardens
- Bioswales and permeable surfaces that help to keep water and pollution out of the storm drains
Thanks to those who are helping to make this happen: