Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust

www.lanlt.org

With a mission to improve health and quality of life issues by providing children access to safe places to play, exercise and come together, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust is the only park and garden organization working exclusively in low-income communities of color in the most at-risk, park-poor areas. Their goal is to promote park equity that will allow every child the ability to walk to a park in their own neighborhood and they have already created 17 parks in the 12 years they have been in existence, with 14 more in development. Compared to seven other U.S. cities, Los Angeles provides its children with the least access to parkland and in low-income communities of color, the disparity is striking. The unincorporated neighborhood of East Compton is a perfect example of an extremely paved concrete jungle. With minimal local resources and infrastructure, these at-risk kids have nowhere to play and the nearest park is across gang boundaries and dangerous streets. Staying at home, spending hours being sedentary contributes to obesity & diabetes, delays in reaching developmental milestones, poor mental health, declining performance in school which leads to high dropout rates, and unsafe behavior due to isolation and boredom. The new Washington Avenue Park in East Compton, for which funding is already secured, will include a playground area for children ages 0-5, fitness equipment, a stroller trail, a picnic area, a fence with gate to ensure the children's safety and the signature element will be a splash pad. With a grant for $17,817.00, Women Helping Youth will be funding the last piece needed for the LANLT park, and the only element specifically designed for 5-12 year olds. This will be a unique play structure including a climbing log/tunnel and a boulder with climbing net. After design meetings with the community, they collectively decided upon this structure as crucial to the completion of the project. 3000-4000 unduplicated children will use the play area every year which will significantly improve the quality of life for disadvantaged children in East Compton by providing a clean, safe, outdoor place to play, learn, and exercise. This, in turn, will improve their health and education outcomes, and create a more resilient community invested in the park and its programming. By providing an active, fun and safe space for youth as they mature from childhood to adolescence, the park will bring families together and encourage social cohesion, interconnectedness and the development of healthy behaviors during a child's formative years, making a world of difference.