City Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr. joined President Cynthia McClain-Hill of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners on Aug. 28 at the corner of Figueroa Street and Slauson Avenue in South Los Angeles to announce a partnership to build a new park. Members of the community were on hand and asked to offer input on what they’d like to see at the future park to be named after the late State Senator Bill Greene.
“For far too long South LA has been considered a park desert, and over the years I have worked hard to create more green spaces within our community. Working alongside LADWP and the Department of Recreation and Parks to revamp an area that has sat idle for over 60 years, we are well on our way to providing residents with more outdoor space to enjoy,” added Councilmember Price. “I am delighted to dedicate our newest park in District 9 to the late Senator Bill Greene, someone who spent his life fighting for equality, social justice and improving the quality of life for everyone. During his decades-long career, he established himself as a true champion for the people and gave his best in serving the residents of South LA. This park is the City's gift to him and the tremendous legacy he has left behind.”
The now vacant lot was once the site of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Figueroa Pump station, a part of LADWP’s drinking water system. The station was taken out of service in 1959 and demolished. Under a Memorandum of Understanding between LADWP and Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, in consultation with Council District 9, the approximately 20,000 square-foot lot will be transformed into a public park that will provide new recreational opportunities for youth and families in a community that lacks green space.
Construction of the park is expected to begin mid-2022 and the completion date is estimated for late 2022, early 2023.
“This is an example of city departments working together to achieve something great for the community at large,” said McClain-Hill of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “We have an opportunity to do something truly transforming here and I couldn’t be happier about turning this underutilized LADWP property into a beautiful park honoring the late Senator Bill Greene and his legacy fighting for civil rights. I have no doubt this park will serve as an anchor and gathering place for the residents and families in this community.”
For decades Bill Greene served as Democratic member of the California State Assembly and the California State Senate representing South Los Angeles. His role as a labor union advocate and a civil rights Freedom Rider propelled him into a political career. Greene was best known for his work authoring legislation, which transformed the welfare system within the State of California that became a model for the nationwide Congressional welfare-to-work program.
The park design process is in the beginning stages and community input will be an essential part to determine the features desired.
"We are committed to closing gaps in park equity,” said Mike Shull, General Manager for the Department of Recreation and Parks. "Through partnerships like these, we are able to provide Angelenos access to open spaces and ensure that this community has walkable access to a safe and welcoming park in their neighborhood. We look forward to the community's input and dedicating a new park in honor of Senator Bill Greene."