LOS ANGELES – Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr., the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and hundreds of local children gathered on April 30 to celebrate the Grand Opening of Vermont Gage Park—a $1.7 million, inclusive playground that unites children of all abilities.
The new park was designed by Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization that builds universally accessible playgrounds that are sensory rich, developmentally appropriate and safe for individuals with disabilities, including Autism, Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.
Being that one-third of the population in the Ninth District is under 18 years old, the newest park in Council District 9, at 6264 S. Vermont Ave., is a welcomed addition to South L.A. families.
“I want to ensure that all children in Council District 9 have access to every opportunity imaginable,” Price said. “No matter who they are or what zip code a child belongs to, he or she should be guaranteed every opportunity to succeed and thrive, and that includes access to quality parks and recreational facilities.”
Vermont Gage includes castle-themed playground areas with resilient surfacing, a walking path, fencing and landscaping. This is the third park to open under Price’s leadership; Wall Street Park opened to the public in December 2013, followed by Avalon Gage Park, which opened in January 2015.
The new park is adjacent to 79 units of subsidized housing. The affordable housing complex got an $8 million renovation with the help of Thomas Safran & Associates and the local nonprofit Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD).
“The Department of Recreation and Parks is proud to open Vermont Gage Park, which brings new recreational opportunities for youth and their families of all abilities to gather, play, and enjoy together,” said Michael A. Shull, General Manager, Recreation and Parks. “Today through the 50 Park Initiative program, we have opened six new parks in South Los Angeles that are within a one-half mile of its neighborhood and we look forward to adding more in communities lacking green space."
Since taking office in 2013, Councilman Price has championed much-needed repairs and improvements to historically underfunded neighborhood parks—helping to invest more than $36 million in upgrades to improve the health and quality of life of families and children in the district.
In the coming months, Central Park’s pool and playground will be completed; Trinity and Ross Snyder parks will get new synthetic soccer fields; and Vermont Square will get a new playground, fitness zone, and improved basketball courts.