L.A. County Announces $33.4 Million Grant Program For Park Development

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District today announced a $33.4 million grant program for cities and organizations throughout the county that want to spearhead park development in their communities.

“I encourage every city, nonprofit, community organization, and school to take advantage of this great opportunity to create community parks,'' said L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

“This funding gives community groups a chance to imagine the kind of green space that would make the biggest difference in the health and well-being of local residents and to apply for the money to make it real.''

People can apply for the grants, which are funded through Measure A, through 10 a.m. Oct. 28, officials said. On May 12 and June 9, applicants can attend a virtual workshop to understand the competitive program's process.

Measure A was passed by L.A. County voters in 2016. It taxes property at 1.6 cents per square foot of development and generates about $95 million in revenue each year. The funding is distributed to cities, nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations and other eligible entities for maintenance and improvement projects for the county's parks and beaches. Since the measure's approval, it has allocated nearly $209 million in funding to create new park space, as well as better access to existing parks and to improve park amenities.

“The L.A. County Regional Park and Open Space District's Competitive Grant Programs helps make the goal of Measure A funding a reality by equipping communities with the resources to protect their environment and bring green spaces into their neighborhoods,'' said L.A. County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “Access to quality parks and recreational facilities are essential for an equitable, healthy and vibrant L.A. County.''

A minimum of 30% of the grant funding will be given to neighborhoods deemed as having high or very high park needs in the following categories:

-- natural lands, local beaches, water conservation and protection;

-- regional recreation facilities, multi-use trails and accessibility; and

-- parkland acquisition.

“Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District's grants program will empower communities and local organizations to pursue innovative projects that will increase access to green spaces in park poor communities,'' Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis said.

“With this funding, we can work to address park inequities to ensure that all residents have access to recreational spaces that allow them to live, learn and play.''

Norma Edith García-González, director of the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation and the L.A. County Regional Park and Open Space District, noted the importance of parks, especially during the last year.

“During this pandemic, parks, trails and open spaces provided county residents with respite, physical and emotional well-being,'' she said.

“We urge community-based organizations, cities, park agencies and all eligible to apply for this critical park funding opportunity and attend one of the upcoming information workshops.''

Photo: Getty Images

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