In the Valley, Park(ing) Day is Beautiful
Next week, L.A. Streetsblog will take a close look at the Policies for Livable Active Communities and the Environment (PLACE) Grant awarded by the L.A. County Department of Public Health to the non-profit Pacoima Beautiful to create a plan to take advantage of the Pacoima Wash to create open space for the park starved community in the San Fernando Valley.
That’s next week.
Today, Sammy and I took a trip back to Pacoima to hang out in their Park(ing) Day space. Pacoima Beautiful is a non-profit dedicated to promoting environmental justice, and the group is taking a keen interest in promoting livable communities, complete streets and open space. The spaces were kid friendly, with children chalking up the sidewalk, grownups talking with P.B. staff and volunteers about a Community Redevelopment Agency Complete Streets project and everyone taking part in free iced cream. Later in the day, once school lets out, there will be a seed bomb exercise.
But the Park(ing) Day spot is about more than just good times and an exercise in creating some temporary open space. The Pacoima Beautiful park is part of the Caminos del Pueblo/Complete Streets campaign and is funded through the RENEW LA initiative of the LA County DPH. Pacoima Beautiful is conducting extensive public education and input gathering to inform the CRA proposed improvements on Van Nuys Blvd., a major thoroughfare through Pacoima.
RENEW is a different program than PLACE, and as you can tell from the names this grant is focused on the streets while the PLACE grant is focused on the Wash, but the two are connected as both grants are about increasing healthy activity as part of transportation and both are about creating new public space.
Great cities take advantage of their infrastructure and natural resources to create great spaces and great communities. Los Angles has been slow to embrace this concept, but communities are beginning to ask and demand more from the city and county. Pacoima Beautiful is just one example, but if a community as diverse as this slice of the Valley can come together, then there’s no excuse for anyone else.
Check back next Tuesday and Thursday for much more on Pacoima Beautiful, the Pacoima Wash, and Pacoima Beautiful.