play / 2015

Franklin-Ivar Park project

Franklin-Ivar Park project

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority

The Franklin-Ivar Park project will convert a ¾-acre lot into a natural park in the heart of Hollywood. Elements of the park include an amphitheater, California native plant landscaping, significant tree canopy to mitigate pollution, water-efficient irrigation, picnic area, adventure play area for youth, shaded seating, solar panels, bicycle racks, nature trails, and free Wi-Fi.


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

  • Central LA
  • 6351 West Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project

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

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • 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.

This project will create a new recreational feature by transforming a currently vacant and deteriorated site into a unique, aesthetically pleasing, multiple-benefit natural park by improving the landscaping, and adding supporting amenities such as an amphitheater, nature trails, adventure play area, interpretive elements to help educate users about natural resources, picnic area with free Wi-Fi, and art plaza for community gathering and interacting. Additionally, the park will feature all California-native drought-tolerant landscaping which will provide habitat for local wildlife, provide shade, generate oxygen, and remove pollutants from the air thus helping to reduce the adverse impacts of global warming. The park will also feature a solar panel collector which will provide power for the energy needs of the park and will educate the public about the benefit of energy savings. This project will also add much needed park space to Los Angeles as there is currently a critical lack of parks to play in. The project’s close proximity of the nearby public and private schools and apartments will ensure that a good majority both youth and adults are able to access and play in the park. The park will feature areas designated for play that are made of natural components such as plants, logs, boulders, hills and trees. These components represent a unique “wild environment” in a way that provides the feeling of being in nature but is safe and manageable to young visitors. A few man-made components have been carefully integrated to support creative play, encourage confident exploration and help children develop a lasting affinity for the natural world. Seniors and other family members will similarly benefit from this open space through genuine recreational opportunities via walking trails, gathering areas for social and cultural interaction, new learning experiences, and a greatly improved environmental experience.
There has been much research on the subject of the benefits of outdoor play. Playing outside helps children to understand and respect nature, the environment and the interdependence of humans, animals, plants, and lifecycles. While play is crucial for a child’s development, it is also beneficial for people of all ages. Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. The new Franklin-Ivar Park will provide the Los Angeles community with a safe outdoor space for more play.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

As the project is located in a park-poor community, the mere existence of the park will be a gauge of its success as it will add new recreational space for families, children and the community to play in. We expect that is park will be heavily used, given the involvement and anticipation displayed to-date by the local residents. The success of the project will be evaluated, in part, by the frequency of its use and future stewardship. A Friends of Franklin-Ivar Park group may be established to ensure continued stewardship for the space, engage the community, encourage park use and activate the space. The picnic and plaza area was designed to accommodate a farmer’s market allowing neighbors the opportunity to interact and purchase fresh local produce. The children’s play area will be utilized by kids from all economic groups fostering friendships and improving their physical health. MRCA may conduct surveys to evaluate and summarize the anticipated use vs. the actual use of the park.

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

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support