play / 2015

A Healthy & Sustainable Environment to Play for Families in South LA

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Tickleberry Place

Tickleberry Place is looking for support with opening a healthy play space for kids and families of South LA that fosters creativity, encourages independent thinking, promotes community engagement, and introduces a new method of social play. Our space will create this experience by offering a healthy sustainable environment that includes active jungle gyms, toys, enriched classes, educational activities, community events, and a space to enjoy organic and locally sourced food.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • South Bay
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD
  • Baldwin hills, Leimert Park, Inglewood, and Mid-City

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Conduct research
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • Change environmental practices for businesses

How will your proposal improve the following “Play” metrics?

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs
  • Per capita crime rates
  • Percentage of residents that feel safe in their neighborhoods
  • Residents within 1⁄4 mile of a park (Dream Metric)
  • Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park (Dream Metric)
  • Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities (Dream Metric)
  • Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to play.

Tickleberry Place was designed to meet the unique needs of South LA. Historically, South LA has a lack of access to safe play spaces and limited healthy food choices. This limits opportunities for children to play and for parents to connect in a public space. Tickleberry caters to Families of color (POC) with young children. Tickleberry begins in South LA as it is the highest need region for issues of food access and play space. However, the location of Tickleberry makes it accessible to the greater Los Angeles’ Community and welcomes participation from families across the city. Eventually, it is the goal of the founders to expand Tickleberry into other regions of the city, so families have healthful play spaces.

Our environment is changing everyday and it is a mission for us to create a sustainable environment in our play space. Local businesses and corporations have a huge impact on the environment with large amounts of energy and water usage, as well as producing a large amount of waste. The daily operations and equipment will be sustainable by using energy efficient appliances in the kitchen, reusable utensils, and minimal paper waste. Tickleberry Place wants to be a solution by being a sustainable business that also educates the community on our practices and encourages the community to take on these practices at home.

Our children are exposed to a large number of harsh chemicals and toxic materials. Tickleberry Place will be a play space made from environmentally friendly materials. In addition, we will use products and methods to keep the play space toxic free. This is particularly important as about 1 in 11 children have asthma in Los Angeles. To reduce the amount of germs on our equipment and toys, we will ensure that there is regular cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day.

Another important aspect about Tickleberry Place is its food. There is a strong need in the community; Very few local restaurants provide organic, and healthier alternatives. In the facility, will be a full service kitchen that will be serving food made from fresh, clean, local, and organic ingredients. Tickleberry Place will offer a variety of choices that are fresh and modern, opposed to the large number of fast food restaurants in the area. Our menu will address the growing demand for healthier options in South Los Angeles.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Tickleberry Place will be nothing less than a top quality facility and will raise the value of the community. We will evaluate our work in the areas of Health, Sustainability, as well as Social and Economic Growth.

Health will be evaluated by the number of families we impact, obesity rating of Los Angeles community overtime, relationships and an increased demand for healthier food options in our community.

We will evaluate our sustainability work based on the number of families and organizations that take on more sustainable practices at home and in our community. Through education we will positively impact behavior where more local businesses, families, and communities are recycling materials and using toxic-free products.

Lastly, we will measure the number of children enrolled in our education programs, participation at community events, increase in employment opportunities, and expansion in various small business and services available in South LA.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research