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County officials to conduct park needs assessment

LOS ANGELES — Officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation will spend the next two months conducting 200 meetings to obtain input from residents about park needs and the type of recreation desired, a county spokesperson said.

“The county has begun a historic parks needs assessment that will shed light on access to parks across the county, and list steps the county can take to make parks more accessible for all residents,” the spokesperson said.

The assessment will identify needs based on park acreage, park access, park use, park condition and the number and type of park amenities available in communities.

Information regarding the meetings in each community can be found on the Park Needs Assessment website at www.lacountyparkneeds.org. The site also provides background information on the Park Needs Assessment.

The comprehensive assessment began last summer by collecting input on the status of every park in Los Angeles County from all 88 cities and the unincorporated areas, the spokesperson said.

More than a dozen components are being analyzed and weighed, including quantity, proximity and overall quality of parks available to residents, as well as the specific quality of individual facilities and amenities within each park.

“It’s absolutely critical that all residents across Los Angeles County have access to thriving, high-quality parks,” said Rita Robinson, park needs assessment project director for the county. “For the first time, this assessment will allow us to truly understand the park needs of every community within the county.”

“We know that access to parks is so important to the health and the quality of life of all communities,” she added. “And it is so important for all county residents to attend these meetings and tell us what they believe the priorities for parks and open space should be.”

The needs assessment will substantially increase the amount of information Los Angeles County decision-makers have available to determine the park and recreation needs of residents across the region, she said.

The quality of individual parks will be compared based on hard data and feedback from people living in each community

Most importantly, this process will allow county residents to weigh-in on what they believe the priority projects for park and open space should be.

A final report with key findings and estimated costs from the assessment will be presented to the Board of Supervisors in May.

Among the upcoming meetings are:

• 6 p.m. Jan. 14, at South Gate City Hall, 8650 California Ave.

• 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Bell Community Center, 6250 Pine Ave.

• 6 p.m. Jan. 20 at the YWCA, 7515 Pacific Blvd., Walnut Park.

• 6 p.m. Jan. 20 at Washington Park, 8908 Maie Ave., Los Angeles.

• 6 p.m. Jan. 21 at Paramount City Hall, 16400 Colorado Ave.

• 10 a.m. Jan. 23 at the Huntington Park Community Center, 6925 Salt Lake Ave.

• 10 a.m. Jan. 23 at the Lynwood Community Center, 11301 Bullis Road.

• 6 p.m. Jan. 28 at True Lasting Connections Family Resource Center, 13220 Bellflower Blvd., Downey.