Stephanie Hernandez and her daughter Amy Serpas paint mosaic tiles


East Hollywood – A little handiwork from the neighbors will be a permanent part of the new Madison Avenue Park  when it finally opens – hopefully next summer.

Children and other members of the community visited the basement of the Cahuenga Branch Library Saturday to paint and mold tiles that will be part of the mosaic around a park planter. Artist Kim Emerson helped people paint tiles shaped like fruits, vegetables and leaves, while her husband and project partner Dennis Reiter showed others how to press and shape the clay.

The painted tiles will be fired in a kiln, where chemical reactions may change the colors in unexpected ways.

“When you open the kiln, it’s always a surprise,” Emerson said.

The combination of a new park in front and a new community garden in back was first announced a couple of years ago, and was initially expected to opened in 2017.

It has taken longer than expected, however, as two parcels of land had to be joined into one, and the garden and pocket park each had to use separate contractors, said Robin Mark, a project manager at the Trust for Public Land, which is managing the park part of the project.

But now the ground has been plowed up, trees have been planted, electricity is soon to go in – and the tiles for the mosaic are being fired up.

As for the community garden side of the project, public meetings will be held probably next spring for anyone interested in signing up for a plot, according to Julie Beals, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council.

Mark noted that the presence of the garden may add to the security at the park. Plus the park will have a gate, security cameras and motion-sensor lights.

Rendering of the new park, with the oval planter in back by the basketball hoop tree.

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