Small park opens in South Los Angeles

By: Smitha Bondade


Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News:


The ninth district is one of most the populous areas of Los Angeles – one not usually associated with wildlife and marshlands. But now it will be with the opening of a wetlands pocket park. Councilwoman Jan Perry leads the way.

image “It was covered with asphalt and barbed wire and truck and machine parts and it was just pretty ugly,” Perry said. “But with a little creativity, some tenacity, some community support – well, this is where we are now.”

The 9-acre wetlands park is built on the site of a former Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus yard. Seventh grade students at Celerity Dyad Charter School, who live a mere mile from the park, were at the opening. Ricardo Gallo piped up with his plans for the park.

“At this park, I’m probably going to bring my friends so we could play football so we could do activities together,” Gallo said.

One of the residents of the community, Janae Oliver, has lived in the area for more than 30 years.

“My aunt is an avid walker,” Oliver said. “She walks every single day, so now she can come right here to this park and walk here. So I feel like the spirit of this community is back.”

The park is one of the first projects set up around Los Angeles in conjunction with Proposition O, a clean water bond program. Its mission is to clean up pollution, protect the public’s health and maintain beaches and oceans free of litter in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act. It’s funded by Propositions 12 and 40.

Gary Lee More works at the Bureau of Engineering and describes one of the park’s innovative and green features.

“And these lights, you don’t see any wires,” More said. “You don’t see any wires underground or overhead, and that’s because they’re all solar powered.”

While there is still much work to do on the park, Perry says this $26 million project will be open early next year.