Work Starts at Pine Avenue Park

June 29, 2011

About 100 residents of Maywood, Los Angeles County's third smallest city, attended a groundbreaking ceremony last week to celebrate the start of construction of Pine Avenue Playground, a community park located at Pine Avenue and 53rd Street.

With over 27,000 people living in only four square miles, Maywood is the most densely populated city west of the Mississippi, and with only three public parks, it suffers from a chronic lack of green park space.

To give Maywood a desperately needed park, the city invited The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to create and lead a public/private partnership including The Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, MetLife Foundation, the City of Maywood, Union de Vecinos and Padres Unidos de Maywood that rallied the local community around the project, and raised money to design and construct the park.

"We wanted to give the people of Maywood not just the park they needed, but a park they will love." said Carolyn Ramsay, TPL's Los Angeles Program Director.  "This park have a small footprint - but it will fill a gaping need in this city."

The Trust for Public Land's design team worked with the community to create the final design, which includes a grassy play area, native plant garden, picnic areas, and water features designed for play within a California King Snake theme.

"The Trust for Public Land has managed every aspect of this project for us," said Mayor Edward Varela. "By partnering with them, we will be able to give our residents a beautiful new park despite this terrible recession."

"MetLife Foundation is committed to building livable communities with open space for recreation and relaxation," added Dennis White, president of MetLife Foundation. "We are pleased to join TPL, the City, Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, community partners and residents in creating this wonderful neighborhood resource for Maywood youth and families."

"As a member of the community of the City of Maywood, I am proud to have a new park in this vicinity," said Jim Gonzales, long-term supporter of the project.  "I believe that this park will be a great asset to the community; it will provide a place where children can play, and it will make a happier, greener Maywood." 

The community will be joined at the groundbreaking by many of the park's dedicated partners and funders, including the Mayor of Maywood, Met Life Foundation, Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, representatives of State Senator Kevin de Leon's and Assembly Speaker John Perez's offices. Construction of the park is scheduled to take four months, with the completed park due to open in October, 2011.

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The Trust for Public Land, created in San Francisco in 1972, conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and wilderness.  It is the nation's leading organization for creating parks in cities and creating local funds for land conservation and parks.  TPL depends on the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations.  In Los Angeles County, TPL has created or improved more than 100 neighborhood parks and natural areas.