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Los Angeles Park Needs Assessment Underway

Posted by Heather Davis, Open Space Policy Analyst on May 20th, 2015
Source: Community Health Councils photography

In response to the failure of Proposition P to gain favor with Los Angeles County voters last November, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted and approved a much needed $3.5 million county wide park needs assessment. This assessment, the first of its kind, will produce a detailed study that will center on a community-driven outreach process, with residents and stakeholders throughout the County invited to share input on the future of parks and open space.

The County Department of Parks and Recreation is leading the effort that will encompass both cities and unincorporated areas within Los Angeles County. The goal of the Park Needs Assessment is to engage all communities within the County in a collaborative process to gather data and input for future decision-making on parks and recreation with the goal of increasing understanding of existing park and recreation assets in addition to helping to determine how to improve, expand, and make parks more accessible. Specifically, the final report will determine planning areas and will identify, prioritize, and outline costs for potential park projects.

The park needs assessment is an ambitious project that began in March 2015 and is slated to conclude in May of 2016. The resultant report from the assessment will include a visionary list of projects and cost estimates, in order of priority, for each Planning Area. It will also identify future opportunities for parks and recreation throughout the County by Planning Area, which will assist cities and unincorporated areas in future park planning. Lastly the park needs assessment may be used as a guide for potential development of future funding mechanisms in addition to leveraging Federal and State resources and guiding local funding decisions.

Given the lack of community input into the Proposition P proposal, the County Board of Supervisors is working to ensure that the needs assessment is an inclusive project.  Community members are invited to participate in addition to local agencies and organizations. CHC will actively participate in the assessment to ensure that the voice of South Los Angeles is heard and park and recreation needs are considered. Should you want to stay abreast of the assessment’s progress, the Department of Parks and Recreation has created a new website expressly dedicated for that. You can follow news and updates there because we all need parks!

For more information, please contact Community Health Councils’ Policy Analyst, Heather at heather@chc-inc.org.

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