Located at the end of Encinitas Avenue and Bledsoe Street in Sylmar, a new park that has been in the works for at least 14 years finally had its grand opening this past Saturday.
The West Lakeside Street Park was open to the public for the first time on May 6. The 11-acre park was previously an empty Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) lot that was identified in 2009 by the City of LA as a location for a new park.
The now-completed park features a multi-sport play field, a walking path that encompasses the park, an amphitheater, picnic area, four shade structures, drinking fountains and parking. During the grand opening, there were multiple resource booths, a raffle and performances by a mariachi group, a local school’s folklórico group and the LA Mission College Music Club.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
“What we have here today is a celebration of space that was previously underutilized in a community that has so often been without some of the active recreational spaces that enable us to come together in the way that so many other communities often take for granted and get to enjoy,” Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez said.
Although it is a gated park, there are some concerns about the park over security and unhoused people sleeping on the grounds.
On the San Fernando Valley Sun/el Sol Facebook page, David Herrera commented, “I give it 2 weeks before it’s vandalized and the bums take over.”
Rodriguez asked those that come to the park to do their best to be “respectful” of the area to keep it in the best condition possible for the community.
“This is a space for all of us to enjoy, for all of us to protect and enjoy together,” Rodriguez said.
I was there at the grand opening and it was wonderful! The overall site plan was well thought-out. There is even a high-tech restroom with music and door automation to help keep any undesired guests from permanently inhabiting or other nefarious activities from occurring. I revisited a few days later and folks were there with kids in strollers and dog-walkers enjoying. Just perfect! 🙂
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