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A packed house for park's debut in Watts

Watts Serenity Park, Los AngelesLos Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino at the ribbon-cutting for Watts Serenity Park.Photo credit: Carla Coleman

In Los Angeles last weekend, a neighborhood street echoed with the sound of soaring swing-sets, clattering skateboards, and the buoyant brass of a Mariachi band. It was the grand opening of Watts Serenity Park—and for community advocate Ronald "Kartoon" Antwine, it's been a long time coming. 

Called "Monitor Avenue Park" during its construction, the newly opened Watts Serenity Park covers barely more than an acre—but its importance to the neighborhood is out of proportion to its size. (You can get a glimpse of the site pre-park on Google Street View here.) To make the most of the space, The Trust for Public Land worked closely with the community to build the features that people wanted most. The final design includes play equipment for kids, a Fitness Zone® exercise area for adults, and a skate park for anyone with a board (and some balance!). 

At Saturday's grand opening, Kartoon reflected on the long battle to bring much-needed green space to the place he grew up. "I just knew we needed something better," he told the crowd. "[I asked myself,]  how come when I leave my neighborhood I see clean streets and greenery, but when I come back here, I'm looking at trash and weeds? I picked up the torch and I ran with it."

Monitor Avenue Park, Los AngelesDedicated to the people of Watts.Photo credit: Carla Coleman

Comments

Tom & Beverley ...
Congratulations to the citizens of Watts. Beyond the park itself this lovely community has shown the power people have when they work together to make change. I'm sure this is just the beginning.

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