The California Department of Parks and Recreation has awarded $6.9 million to construct Allegheny Park in a park-poor Sun Valley neighborhood on more than a half-acre of land secured by LA Council President Nury Martinez in 2019.
The funding represents a major community victory and was the highest award the City received from the state in 2020.
“This is an incredible victory for Sun Valley and all the residents and longtime advocates of our community,” Martinez said. “As part of our Families-First agenda, where you live and how much you earn will not dictate whether your children have access to quality parks. With nearly $7 million in funding, Allegheny Park is going to be a Gold-Star experience for the children in this community.”
The site for the pocket park is located on a jammed-pack street zoned residential, commercial and industrial.
In 2019, Martinez utilized $3.36 million in Community Redevelopment Agency (CRALA) Excess Bond Proceed funds to purchase three vacant properties on 11957, 11961, and 11963 Allegheny Street. That allocation put the project in a prime position to secure the $6.9 million in state construction dollars.
The Prop 68 award will pay for the construction of the park, including two splash pads, two playgrounds, a walking and fitness path, outdoor fitness equipment, public art, BBQ and picnic areas, shade trees and structures, a restroom, and lighting throughout the park.
Beginning in May 2019, community members attended seven meetings organized by LA’s Department of Recreation and Parks to discuss the design for the proposed park and what features they wanted included in the city’s Proposition 68 application. Residents gave their input and also asked that the public art in the park honor women champions of Sun Valley who have fought for environmental and community justice causes.
The need for a park in this part of Sun Valley is high. According to the city’s application to the state, there are zero parks per 1,000 people in a half-mile radius. The nearest facility (Fernangeles Park) is a mile away and located across the Golden State (5) Freeway.
The area is surrounded by single-family homes, apartments, commercial and industrial businesses, and a school, Alliance Marine Charter, is adjacent to the proposed park. The park will serve close to 6,000 residents with 30 percent of those living in poverty, according to a Community Fact Finder Report.
The City and State will finalize the funding details in the coming months, followed by the selection of a construction firm through the City’s RFP process. A construction timeline will be announced after that.
Special thanks to the city’s Recreation and Parks Department and State Assemblymember Luz Rivas for their assistance, and the Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council and all who participated in or hosted meetings, Martinez said.
Approved by voters in 2018, Proposition 68 aims to build new parks, as well as improve existing parks and water systems throughout the state.