Councilmember Huizar and the Highland Park community celebrated the grand opening of the York Park. This community victory turned a brownfield into a greenspace born out of Councilmember Huizar’s York Vision Plan where neighbor’s asked for, and received, a new $3 million park on York and Ave. 50. A day-long “El Mercado” Arts & Craft Fair was held to celebrate.
Councilmember Huizar joined elected officials, Recreation and Parks and Highland Park community members Saturday, February 21 to celebrate the Grand Opening of “York Blvd. Park”– a new park on York Boulevard and Avenue 50 – the most recent community improvement under Huizar and the community’s “York Vision Plan.”
As part of the celebration, The Highland Park Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored the El Mercado York Village Arts & Crafts Fair with live music and over 50 local artists and 20 local organizations represented. Also in attendance was U.S. Congressmember Xavier Becerra, State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León and State Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez.
Councilmember Huizar’s Vision Plan was launched in 2010 as a series of workshops overseen by Living Streets L.A., who Councilmember Huizar brought in to engage with local stakeholders on what kind of improvements they would like to see on York Boulevard. Some of those improvements, such as the City’s first parklet, have already been implemented with others to follow. Earlier, Huizar led an effort to install the City’s first bike corral on York.
By far the biggest ask of the Vision Plan was a new park. Councilmember Huizar provided funding and worked with Recreation and Parks, Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) and Living Streets L.A. to apply for and receive $2.875 million in highly competitive state Proposition 84 funds. Along with funds secured by the LA Parks Foundation through the Wells Fargo UrbanLIFT Community Grant Program, the parks total funding is more than $3 million.
“Bringing this park to the Highland Park community and increasing green space access for these residents gives me great joy,” said Councilmember Huizar. “Put simply, my job is to listen to what the community wants and then go out and find the resources to turn those wishes into reality,” said Huizar. “That’s what we did here for the York Boulevard Park working alongside our city, state and community partners. We’ve been very successful in bringing new parks and open space to Council District 14, and each one is unique and rewarding. Today, I am really happy for the Highland Park community. This park is a gem that will be enjoyed for years to come by countless children and families.”
Recreation and Parks oversaw the design and build of the park, which is also part of their 50 Parks Initiative. Community design workshops were held at Burbank Middle School and Buchanan Elementary School where students and adults shared their thoughts on what makes a park great. With 787 participants voting for their favorite design out of three finalists, Option C emerged as the winner, garnering nearly 59%. The design transforms a once vacant 1/3 of an acre site into much-needed green space.