Los Angeles Parks Report Card: Does Your Park Make the Grade? - NBC Southern California

Los Angeles Parks Report Card: Does Your Park Make the Grade?

Disparities were found in the quality of the parks between low-income and higher-income areas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Los Angeles recently commissioned a study looking at the city's public parks. The study found a huge disparity between parks in wealthier neighborhoods and those in poorer neighborhoods. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (Published Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017)

    What to Know

    • The city manages a total of 444 parks

    • The report graded 40 of the city's 95 designated community parks

    • Disparities were found in the quality of the parks between low-income and higher-income areas

    A report card system for Los Angeles' parks unveiled Wednesday gave poor scores for the maintenance and cleanliness of restrooms, but better marks for playgrounds, trails and gyms.

    Complete Report: See the Full Report Card

    A survey of 3,700 park users also found that cleanliness and safety concerns deter them from using the community parks more.

    The report card by City Controller Ron Galperin graded 40 of the city's 95 designated community parks via visits by reviewers from the KH Consulting Group and the RAND Corp., along with USC faculty members.

    "Our parks are so important to our quality of life, providing recreational outlets for all ages, much-needed green space and venues for community-building," Galperin said. "I hope city leaders will use my report card to drive improvements at city parks to better serve all Angelenos."

    The city manages a total of 444 parks ranging in size, and Galerpin noted that the Department of Recreation and Parks has added 37 parks over the last nine years while funding has shrunk by $81 million over the same period of time.

    Galperin also noted that the rise in homelessness has led to maintenance challenges. The most recent Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count found that homelessness rose by 20 percent in the city in 2016.

    "It is the department's goal to ensure that the city has a clean, safe, innovative and accessible park system that serves the entire Los Angeles community," said Michael Shull, general manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks. "We are proud of the work our staff performs daily but also acknowledge the need to continuously innovate and improve. We appreciate the collaboration with the L.A. Controller's office and look forward to staying closely engaged with the public to share our progress and hear ideas and feedback as we move forward."

    The report card also found disparities in the quality of the parks between low-income and higher-income areas. Parks in the Westside and west San Fernando Valley fared better, while those in the East Valley and downtown, south of downtown and Eastside areas received lower grades.

    Galperin advised exploring funding sources for maintenance and upgrades, including special city funds that typically have been used for new parks.

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