A Metropolitan Mecca

The $15-million park, funded by public and private sources, is operated by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. The city’s recreation department will operate the soccer field under a joint-use agreement with the adjacent learning center.

The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy funded construction of the park through a variety of sources, including state bond funds approved by voters and community-development block-grant funds. Private funding sources included the LA84 Foundation and the Weingart Foundation.

A Park Designed For People

Based on stakeholder input and community outreach, the park is designed for the people who will be using it the most. Nearby residents of Westlake, Angelino Heights, Chinatown, Central City, Little Tokyo and downtown Los Angeles now have unique access to athletic facilities and an opportunity to experience nature within walking distance of their urban neighborhoods.

The park is intended to be more than a recreational area, however; it is envisioned as an educational platform from which children develop knowledge of nature and its value and are inspired to have pride in their community. All Los Angeles-area schools are strongly encouraged to use it for educational and interpretative programs. Indeed, within a year of its opening in 2008, it has become a local nature and education treasure, achieving an equitable balance between intense urban activity and the serenity of natural open space.

Mia Lehrer, FASLA, is President of Los Angeles-based Mia Lehrer + Associates, which provided landscape architecture design services for Vista Hermosa Natural Park. The firm was presented the AIA/LA 16th Annual Design Award for Excellence in Open Space presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its design of Vista Hermosa Natural Park.

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Related posts:

  1. A Metropolitan Mecca
  2. Living Laboratory
  3. Grand Scale
  4. Facility Planning
  5. Here To Spray

One comment on “A Metropolitan Mecca

  1. Todd Larson, Marketing Director, Pressley Associates Landscape Architects on said:

    This is a great article. This is just the park that smog-choked Los Angeles has needed for years. Judging from the photo, it’s the perfect oasis from such a highway-overrun city, and a model of environmental sustainability as well as public parkland. I look forward to more landscape success stories like this.

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