Elysian Valley school tears up blacktop for green space

Dedication day for new school park/Jennifer Deines

What’s a ribbon-cutting ceremony without giant scissors?/Jennifer Deines

City and school district officials joined the staff, students and parents of Dorris Place Elementary last week to dedicate new, park-like grounds on what once had been a field of asphalt on the north end of the Elysian Valley campus.

Jennifer Deines, a Dorris Place parent and member of Partners of Dorris, provided some photos and details of the event:

Today we had a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for a lovely small park right next to the school. There used to be a sea of asphalt and unused bungalows where the park now lives. At the ceremony the children sang “this land is your land” but altered the lyrics to say “this Park is your Park…” which was very charming!

Deines notes that Dorris Place is one of the few L.A. Unified schools to have adding grass to their grounds. Earlier this year, school supporters help revive the school garden in the corner of the campus.

L-R: School principal Susan Schmidt;  studnet council member Matthew; 13th District Councilman Mitch O’Farrell; and Blaire Lennane, President of Partners of Dorris


  1. this is great news for the students at dorris place elementary.

    i live on micheltorena in silverlake, and am horrified every time i walk by the blacktop so-called ‘playground’ there. LAUSD, can micheltorena elementary please be next in line for this conversion?

    and then onto all the other sad blacktop playgrounds across the city!

    • Dear please,

      Micheltorena Elementary students don’t have a lot of open green space but they do have their own thriving garden that’s open to teachers to bring students during school hours, after school and I believe, during recess.

      The garden is even open to the community every Saturday starting at 10 a.m.!

  2. This is great to hear a school is making their playground more like a playground and not turning it into a parking lot. I’ve seen so many schools reducing their playground areas and making them into parking lots. Kudos!

  3. Congratulations to Dorris Pl and the entire Elysian Valley community. Special thanks to Susan Grant (Principal) and her staff for having the vision and the will to make this possible. As a former Dorris Pl Tiger, I am delighted to see this special place shine as bright as it presently does. Go Tigers!!

    • This school is simply a dream. For those of us who grew up having Music, PE, Library, a garden, etc. it has been devastating to see what has been cut from our children’s curricula. Dorris Place is a shining example of what public schools are capable of providing when communities like EV get involved. Kudos to your safe adorable school with its musical instruments program, high scores, magical library, beautiful garden, and now your amazing grass and tree filled park! Well done Dorris Place Elementary!

  4. The park turned out fantastic! Every school needs more green space, I hope this trend continues throughout other LAUSD schools.

  5. Dorris Place Parent

    My daughter is so thrilled to have a park at her school! We are so thrilled to have found this amazing school.. Love the principal, office staff, teachers, and especially the parent organization ,POD, who is doing amazing things for our students!! Yay POD and Dorris Place Elementary!!

  6. Want to win an iPad? Come to the Dorris Place fall fest Friday, Nov 1. Your odds of winning couldn’t be better! Fun for the kids and adults too. DJ, ethnic food stalls, carnival games, face painting, jumpers, petting zoo, raffles for iPad mini, $100’s of dollars in gift cards to places you shop! Pumpkin patch and haunted garden. Wear your costume! Who says Halloween is over on the 31st?
    Dorris Place Elementary is located in Elysian Valley off Riverside Drive. http://Www.podpartnersofdorris.org
    Raffle tickets only $1

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