May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42

P L A N S T O PA R K S

We plan with equity and
implementation in mind,
ensuring that our plans prioritize
the neediest communities and
do not end up just sitting
on bookshelves.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION

Park planning is a key function
of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation
(DPR) where I work as a park
planner. We plan with equity and
implementation in mind, ensuring that our plans prioritize the
neediest communities and do not
end up just sitting on bookshelves.
Examples of such planning documents include the Los Angeles
Countywide Parks and Recreation
Needs Assessment, Community
Parks and Recreation Plans, and
the Earvin " Magic " Johnson Park
Master Plan.

Countywide Parks
and Recreation Needs
Assessment
The Countywide Parks Needs Assessment serves as DPR's North
Star, guiding its planning, resource
allocation and decision making.
Completed in 2016, the Parks
Needs Assessment was a historic
undertaking to engage all of Los
Angeles County in a collaborative
process to identify and quantify
the magnitude of need for parks in
cities and unincorporated communities across Los Angeles County
and determine the potential cost of
meeting that need.
The Parks Needs Assessment established a new way to understand
and think about parks by:
*	 Considering them as key infrastructure needed to maintain and
improve the quality of life for all
residents
*	 Using a series of metrics to determine park needs
*	 Supporting a need-based allocation of funding for parks
*	 Emphasizing both community
priorities and deferred maintenance projects
The Parks Needs Assessment
was equity focused and identified communities with high or
very high park need - something
that had never been done before.
Knowing where these underserved
areas are enables DPR to focus
and prioritize resources to specifically address park inequities. The
findings of the Parks Needs Assessment were so compelling that
the Los Angeles County Board of
Supervisors decided to put a parks
funding measure, Measure A, on

The 0.5-acre pocket park at Walnut Park
will be the first of its kind in the community, which has 16,000 residents and a
very high level of park need.
42	 Parks & Recreation

| M AY 2 02 1 | PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G

the ballot in November 2016. Due
in large part to the extensive community engagement process for
the Parks Needs Assessment and
the effective dissemination of public information, Measure A was
passed with nearly 75 percent of
voters supporting it. Measure A
generates about $95 million of revenue annually and has dedicated
funding for high- and very highneed areas.

Community Parks
and Recreation Plans
The first Community Parks and
Recreation Plan (CPRP) completed by DPR was for the unincorporated community of FlorenceFirestone. In 2012, DPR applied
for a Sustainable Communities
Planning grant from the California
Strategic Growth Council to prepare additional CPRPs to address
the needs of six of the most parkpoor communities in Los Angeles
County: East Los Angeles, East
Rancho Dominguez, Lennox, Walnut Park, West Athens-Westmont
and Willowbrook. Collectively,
these communities are home to
about 257,000 residents, or about a
quarter of the population living in
the county's unincorporated areas.
DPR won that $1 million grant
- despite being up against planning
and transportation agencies with
more experience in competing for
such funds - and completed the six
CPRPs in 2016. Aiding in the effort
were residents, community-based
organizations, the board of supervisors and other county departments.
Each CPRP begins with an examination of local demographics,
existing parks and recreational facilities, parkland gaps, recreation
programs, tree canopy coverage,
transportation and connectivity to
parks, as well as availability of land



May 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2021 - Parks & Recreation

May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
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May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com