South Central, Los Angeles–A new park is coming to South Central, in an area that has historically lacked green space. Under a Memorandum of Understanding between LADWP and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and in consultation with Council District 9, the approximately 20,000 square-foot vacant lot will be transformed to provide new recreational opportunities for youth and families.
This weekend, L.A City Councilman Curren Price was joined by President of the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners Cynthia McClain-Hill, Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) General Manager Mike Shull, along with members of the community to celebrate the groundbreaking of the future Sen. Bill Greene Memorial Park on the corner of Figueroa and Slauson Avenue.
“It is important to me that our families have clean streets, beautiful parks and green space,” said Councilmember Price. “That’s why I’m thrilled that this year alone, we will be breaking ground on three new parks. Sen. Bill Greene Memorial Park will have something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.”
The improvement of local parks has been a focal point of Price’s tenure in office, with over $60 million being allocated for parks and recreation improvements across district 9.
The new park in district 9 will have walking trails, trees, an outdoor amphitheater and outdoor fitness equipment. There will also be opportunities for local artists as the park has proposed mural and installation space.
“With this partnership we are bringing much-needed green space to the heart of Los Angeles,” said McClain-Hill. “This park rightly honors the legacy and service of the late Sen. Bill Greene who fought for civil rights, and will provide an important community benefit to nearby residents that can be enjoyed for years to come.”
Sen. Greene who was a freedom rider during the height of the civil rights movement during the 1960’s, served 25 years in the state legislature representing South Central. Although he was jailed for his activism in the south, he would later be hired as the first African-American desk clerk in the Assembly, where he was later elected in 1967.
“Dymally recalled Greene as “very pro-labor and pro-business. He was able to mix the two without antagonizing either group. His position was you have to have jobs for people in oppressed areas, and if you’re anti-business, you’re not going to have jobs.”
Among his many careers, Greene served as a lobbyist for the Building Service Employees International Union, a field representative for the Los Angeles City Employees Assn., and a staff member of the Voice of America and member of the Air Force,” (L.A Times).
He passed in 2002 at 72.
The now vacant lot on Slauson and Figueroa was once the site of LADWP’s Figueroa Pump station, which was part of L.A.’s drinking water system. The station was taken out of service in 1959 and demolished.