EAST HOLLYWOOD – Local residents are celebrating the grand opening of a new community garden and park that includes a large play area for children and up to fifty individual plots for local gardeners, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell recently announced.
The new park, located at 1177 N Madison Avenue, was made possible thanks to a collaboration with the Councilmember’s office, the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks, The Trust for Public Land, Los Angeles Community Garden Council, and local neighbors who contributed ideas for the design and layout of the new park facility. Park programming in being supported by Kaiser Permanente.
"Together we have created a beautiful, welcoming space in East Hollywood on a site that had been vacant for nearly 20 years," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell. "The new Madison Avenue Community Garden and Park provides what local residents need - a place to relax, a space for children to play, and room for gardeners to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. I want to thank my team for working on securing the additional funding and entitlements to get us over the finish line, the Department of Recreation and Parks for the facility maintenance, the Community Garden Council for their commitment to care for the garden, and The Trust for Public Land for designing the space."
This project, which was over a decade in the works, transformed a vacant lot in East Hollywood into a vibrant park that provides critical access to green space for more than 12,600 people who live within a 10-minute walk of the space. Guests of the park are able to enjoy two separate sections: a park for recreation and gathering, and a community garden for neighbors to grow fresh food.
“Madison Avenue Park and Community Garden is the 43rd park in the Department of Recreation and Parks’ 50 Parks Initiative program,” says Department of Recreation and Parks General Manager Michael Shull. “Designed to address park disparity across the City, this park represents inclusivity from its creation to its function, enabling residents to connect with one another and nature.”
Based on extensive community input, the park side of the property features a farm theme that pays homage to East Hollywood’s agricultural heritage and complements the adjacent community garden. It includes lemon and orange trees, creating an idyllic California landscape.
"There are over 1.5 million people in City of Los Angeles who do not live within a 10-minute walk to a park, which is why The Trust for Public Land is working with partners across the city to create and enhance neighborhood parks and playgrounds," said Guillermo Rodriguez, California State Director of The Trust for Public Land. "Madison Park is a great example of park equity and community empowerment – this park would not have been possible without the passionate neighbors who knew that a new local park could bring people of diverse backgrounds together, provide a healthy place to exercise, and make the neighborhood more climate resilient. We look forward to working with the East Hollywood community."
A lending library was installed by the Friends of the Cahuenga Library, a historic East Hollywood institution steps from the community garden and park. Neighborhood students also designed and painted a bright mural on a small classroom structure located on the property, as well as helped create mosaic art on a nearby planter. Elson Trinidad, a community member who was heavily involved in the planning of the garden and park over the last several years, had expressed the need and urgency of having a recreational space in the neighborhood.
“Twenty-three years ago, inspired by volunteering at a neighborhood clean-up in Echo Park, I became a community activist and organizer. I began to learn and care more about this land which lacked recreational space for our youth to play in,” said Trinidad. “The Trust for Public Land and the Community Garden Council began the hard work of partnering with the City to turn this once-vacant land into a community garden and park. I first attended a series of workshops at the Cahuenga Library where members of the community helped plan out the layout of this park. I worked with the arts organization LA Commons to select artwork for this park from local community members and young people.”
Madison Avenue Community Garden and Park is part of the Department of Recreation and Parks’ 50 Parks Initiative program designed to address park disparity across the City. Gardeners interested in securing a garden plot should contact Diana Campos with the Los Angeles Community Garden Council. Diana can be reached at DCampos.firstname.lastname@example.org.