Los Angeles County Provides Funding to Purchase Park Land in Underserved Communities

Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District (RPOSD) announced the release of $14.5 million in Measure A Acquisition-Only Competitive Grant Program funding to acquire parkland throughout the county. The initiative is designed to expand parks, trails, and green spaces in high-need areas by allowing public agencies, nonprofits, and community-based organizations (CBOs) to submit applications through RPOSD’s grant management system through September 27, 2024. To assist applicants, RPOSD will provide technical assistance and financial support to grant applicants, with a focus on communities with high park needs.

In 2022, RPOSD has committed $9 million to help 30 high-need park agencies prepare for upcoming Measure A funding cycles. This year, RPOSD will host a virtual workshop on July 18, 2024, to introduce the eligibility and evaluation criteria for the grant program. The program’s goals are to ensure equitable access to parks and green spaces, address disparities faced by underserved communities, and promote environmental justice and equity.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors emphasized the importance of this funding in improving the quality of life for residents and highlighted the benefits of green spaces in promoting community, promoting physical activity and improving mental health. They called on public agencies, nonprofits, CBOs and other eligible entities to use this opportunity to develop projects that will enrich the lives of County residents for years to come.

Los Angeles County has significant park and recreation needs, as documented in the 2016 Countywide Parks Needs Assessment (PNA) and the 2022 Parks Needs Assessment Plus (PNA+). The PNA is a comprehensive study of the diversity of parks and recreation facilities in Los Angeles County cities and unincorporated communities. Prepared by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), the PNA collected data to determine the scope, scale, and location of park needs in the County. Since its completion in 2016, the PNA has been invaluable in informing planning, decision-making, and resource allocation for parks and recreation.

In 2022, DPR completed PNA+, which supplements and offers new information not previously included in the 2016 PNA. Specifically, PNA+ includes data on access to regional parks, open space, trails, beaches and lakes, and local rural parks, as well as mapping and analysis on population vulnerabilities, environmental benefits and pressures, and priority areas for environmental protection and restoration, and regional and rural recreation.