There are an estimated 4,000 children living within a mile of the new El Sereno Arroyo Playground and, on Saturday, it looked like many of them (in addition to a contingent of elected officials and other adults) had converged on the site for a grand opening ceremony. The office of Councilman José Huizar worked with a coalition of groups and residents–ranging from the Trust for Public Land and Northeast Trees to Concerned Neighbors of El Sereno and the LA-32 Neighborhood Council–to transform the formerly, litter-strewn lot into a 1.3-acre green space (don’t call it a park) at the corner of Alhambra and Lowell avenues. It comes complete with a playground, nature garden, solar-powered lighting and trash cans, a high-tech irrigation system and some whimsical touches, including mosaic tiles and animal paw prints in cement.
“Through persistence, perseverance and avid community, city and private partners support, we are making good on a promise more
than 30 years in the making,” said Huizar in a statement.
One of the key partnerships forged to make playground happen was convincing Caltrans, which owns the property, to agree to lease the land for recreational uses. It’s the first time the agency has agreed to lease land for 25-years for recreational use, according to an official with Council District 14.