A new half-acre park and community garden is now open in East Hollywood, about two blocks away from the Vermont/Santa Monica station.
The Madison Avenue Park and Community Garden provides “critical access” to green space for the more than 12,600 people who live in a 10-minute walking radius from the park site.
That says a lot about the density of the neighborhood and the intensity of the need for this park, says Robin Mark, program manager at the Trust for Public Land (TPL), which worked with the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, and the Los Angeles Community Garden Council on the park project.
Without the Madison Avenue Park, many of those residents would need to get on a bus or into a car to get to the next closest significant green space, Barnsdall Park or Lemon Grove Recreation Center.
“This is really a victory for East Hollywood, to have this new open space,” says Mark.
Funding was secured for the park in 2012 but it took a number of years to get the project going. The property required a zoning amendment and extensive coordination with the planning department to build two separate projects—garden and park—on one site.
It doesn’t usually take TPL this long to finish projects, and it’s not ideal, says Mark. But the park seems worth the wait.
Centering on a farm theme, the park has a play area with a climbable silo and a big red tractor. Most of the playground is covered by a large shade structure, meaning that kids can play there year-round.
The onsite building will be staffed by the garden council, which will also harvest the fruit from the real lemon and orange trees that dot the park. Over two dozen community garden pots occupy a separate section of the property.
The park is No. 43 in the Department of Recreation and Parks’ 50 Parks Initiative, which launched in 2012 and was designed to address park disparity across the city.