In 2012, then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the 50 Parks Initiative, a public-private partnership with the goal of transforming vacant lots and the sites of foreclosed houses all over the city into parks big and small, covering a total of 170 acres. Since then, more than 30 new parks have been added (or are being added very soon), from pocket parks to roomy romping spaces, with more coming steadily. (We're waiting for details on three more imminent 50 Parks sites right now.) With the help of a list from the Department of Recreation and Parks, we've plotted out all the parks that the initiative has helped open so far, and even one that's opening up this very weekend. All the points are listed in the order that they opened, from oldest to most recent. Los Angeles, if you haven't already, meet your newest parks:Read More
Mapped: 30 New Los Angeles Parks That Replaced Blighted Lots
49th Street Park
This little park occupies the spot where an abandoned house stood for 10 years, just attracting trouble. Now, there's grass, a playground, and room to play.
McKinley Avenue Park
Formerly the site of a vacant duplex, this park has benches, exercise equipment, lights, decorative landscaping, and security cameras.
El Sereno Arroyo Playground
This one-acre park had been empty and useless since the 1970s, but is now populated with grassy knolls, a seriously cool playground, an outdoor gym, public art, picnic tables, walking paths, and a merry-go-round.
76th Street Pocket Park
This wee park has exercise equipment, a little playground, an big sun sails. It replaced an empty, foreclosed house.
Orchard Avenue Pocket Park
This long, skinny park does business in the front (workout equipment) and party in the back (a sweet playground with multiple slides). In the middle, there's a big, lush tree.
111th Place Pocket Park
This .09 acre space is becoming a park in phases. It seems to be pretty much grass and benches right now (and that's not nothing), but eventually there will be more landscaping with drought-tolerant plantings, plus a whimsical fence.
Fulton Avenue Park
was especially glad that parents can see their kids from any bench in the area.
97th St. Park
Put this park in your pocket! Outfitted with fitness equipment and stuff for all your little imps to jump and slide on, its got a lovely, decorative fence and those slick sun sails for shade.
105th Street Park
A nice little oasis with benches, trees, a playground, and exercise equipment.
Exercise equipment and a couple fun slides under the shade are central to this Pacoima park on the former site of a single-family house.
61st Street Pocket Park
Get a workout in while the kids enjoy the playground!
Fox & Laurel Park
The one-third-acre park has TWO playgrounds, a drought-tolerant garden, a community garden, bioswales, a walking path, and large, native trees.
Spring Street Park
Yes, we have 50 Parks to thank for the "first real green space" in the Historic Core, the Spring Street Park.
Sunnynook River Park
3.4 acres along a freeway doesn't sound like it would be very nice, but this place is actually very chill. It's got native plantings, an outdoor classroom, and picnic areas, and is not too far off the LA River Bike Path. [Image via Scott Lowe]
Harbor Gateway Pocket Park
This park was created primarily to force sex offenders to move, but it's still a park.
La Mirada Park
It took four years to get the park built, but now it's here to stay. Located on a corner lot, the park has one of those fake tree stumps that kids can climb on, plus more playground equipment, shade, and lots of seating.
North Hollywood Multi-Purpose Intergenerational Center at Tiara Street
The 2,200-square-foot facility here includes a lobby and multi-purpose room, plus an outdoor play area with walking paths, shade, benches. There's also a parking lot.
Drum Barracks Park
Right across from the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum in Wilmington, this park has an awesome playground feature that looks like big cartoon trees and a lot of free-play/lounging space.
Wall Street Park
Google Street View still shows the vacant old house that this park replaced. The playground, with a swirling slide, is the focus of this park, which also has some large trees around the perimeter.
Yelpers liked that this park has big areas of (artificial) shade for kids to play under and lots of seating for parents or other responsible grownups to sit and watch over the kids. They did note that the park is ungated, so it's especially important to keep an eye on the littles.
Sheldon Skate Park
Also known as the South East Valley Skate Park, this concrete skate zone has areas for multiple levels of skate abilities—beginners, too. [Image via California Skateparks]
West Adams Heights Park
The 4,000-square-foot, formerly empty lot now holds a playground, exercise equipment, trees, and native plantings.
Gladys Jean Wesson Park
This gated park has a shaded play area for kids and shaded seating for adults, plus "a small grassy slope for respite." It is located on a spot right across from a senior center, on what was previously a dirt lot.
Avalon and Gage Park
The one-third-acre site went from being an eyesore to being a place for kids, seniors, parents, and bus riders, says a release announcing the site's opening earlier this year. The park is in a triangular median, surrounded on three sides by roads, and features lots of play equipment and seating, but not a ton of shade yet.
Watts Serenity Park
Covering just a bit more than an acre, this park has some really inventive looking play pieces, according to the Facebook album for its opening, including rolling hills like on the old PBS Teletubbies show and a merry-go-round that looks like the tortilla bowl you get at fast food places serving "taco salad." [Image via Councilman Joe Buscaino]
York/Avenue 50 Park
Mid Valley Intergenerational Multipurpose Center
The 2,500-square-foot building and surrounding green space here has something few of the others do: restroom access. The lavatories are inside the building. [Image via Councilwoman Nury Martinez]
Costanso Fire Station 84 Park
This fire-station-themed park has a red and white color scheme and a playground shaped like a fire truck. The property once housed an active fire station that has relocated. The building was left vacant from 2007 to 2013, says the Daily News, until it was razed to build the park. [Image by Dean Musgrove via Daily News]
Carlton Way Pocket Park
This park isn't technically open yet, but it's supposed to be this Saturday. Plans call for lots of trees, a playground, and lots of open space on the previously long-vacant lot.
Patton Street Park
This park at the *southern edge of Echo Park is scheduled to open on August 1, and when it does, the plans say it will have a waterfall, a stream, and chairs that look like boulders. Rugged!