$45 Million For Los Angeles River Parks

SACRAMENTO, 7/31/01 – The Trust for Public Land today commended Governor Davis for approving over $45 million for urban park and open space along the Los Angeles River.

“Governor Davis’ efforts to fund urban parks along the Los Angeles River are unprecedented and far reaching. These parks will provide valuable recreational opportunities and safe places for children to play in communities where people live and work,” said Rachel Dinno, Director of Government Relations for the Trust for Public Land.

The 2001-02 state budget bill signed by Governor Davis today includes funding for two priority projects along the Los Angeles River: Cornfields in central Los Angeles and Wrigley Heights in the City of Long Beach.

The funds for the 32-acre Cornfields property will help create the first state park, open space and recreation complex ever developed in downtown Los Angeles, which will be served by a rail transit station making it accessible to millions of transit dependent families and children.

The funds for the properties known as Wrigley Heights, totaling 40 acres, will be used to establish the largest park and open space area along the river south of downtown Los Angeles, providing much-needed recreational space and habitat in one of the largest metropolitan cities and most densely populated areas in California.

“This budget reflects an effort to correct inequities in the state park system by creating a new state park in central Los Angeles. For the first time in decades, new state parks will be built where people live and work in Los Angeles,” said Dinno. “These projects will spur urban renewal by turning brownfields into greenfields and foster economic growth in the community.”

The Los Angeles River flows through 13 cities that are home to over 8 million people. The river’s 51-mile journey begins in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley and ends at the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach. The river runs through some of California’s most park-poor and densely populated communities.

“Governor Davis’ plan champions urban renewal,” added Dinno. “His leadership is helping to revitalize Los Angeles’ neglected urban areas by providing safe parks and an improved quality of life. The L.A. River provides a great opportunity to re-green Los Angeles. The urban park projects will provide a tremendous opportunity to revitalize communities along the L.A. River, clean up communities and provide places to recreate where people live and work.”

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to conserving land for people as parks, greenways, wilderness areas and natural, historic and cultural resources for future generations. Founded in 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide. TPL’s Los Angeles River Greenway Program is working to create urban parks along the Los Angeles River. TPL has already completed Elysian Valley Gateway Park, Steelhead Park, Julia Russ Asmus Neighborhood Park, the expansion of Ralph Dills Park, and is currently working?on the?Maywood Riverfront Park.