A Park’s Transformational Power

By Al Sattler, Group Chair

“Today, kids spend less time outside than prison inmates…”

Imagine living without any park nearby, surrounded by Superfund sites and industrial facilities.  That has been the life of thousands of people living between Normandie and Vermont, north of Torrance Boulevard.  The closest park is more than 2 miles away. 

“Today, kids spend less time outside than prison in-mates,  with  the  average  child  playing  freely outside for just four to seven minutes a day.”—A new report The Path Ahead, commissioned by REI.

The Wishing Tree Park will be a place to play for 5000 children who live within a 10-minute  walk from the park, and nearly 80,000 people living with 2 miles of it, from Western Avenue to the Harbor Freeway, from Carson Street to the 405 Freeway.

As the base for the park, two feet of clean dirt will be brought in to cover this vacant brownfield.

People in the area, led by the Del Amo Action Committee, fought for about 20 years to have this park.  The key was when the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust became involved, combined funding from Shell with several public park funds, and formed the Del Amo Neighborhood Park LLC, which purchased the site.  This funding will pay for the park facilities, as well as trucking in the clean dirt.

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