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Major financial boost for county park funding


More than $26 million in Measure A funding has been awarded to park development projects across Los Angeles County.

The money awarded Wednesday is the first of three competitive grant programs through the Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Measure approved by L.A. County voters in 2016.

“I am incredibly excited and proud to announce these long-awaited funds for projects that will provide critically needed investment in parks and recreational areas and expand access to green space for our high and very high need communities,” County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly Mitchell said.

The funding was granted to 30 projects selected out of 42 applications by a nine-member evaluation board.

More than $9 million will fund 11 natural lands, local beaches, water conservation and projection projects that improve and protect open spaces, watersheds and water resources.

More than $11 million will fund 13 regional recreation facilities, multi-use trails and accessibility projects.

Nearly $6 million will fund parkland acquisition projects with priority for urgent acquisitions in high or very high park need areas, as well as trail connections and access, wildlife corridors and critical habitat.

“The $26 million in Measure A grant funds being announced today are funded through taxpayer dollars to develop, enhance and provide wider access to parks, trails and open space projects, as well as boost the local economy through the creation of jobs,” said Norma Edith García-González, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District.

“The implementation of these critically needed park, trail and open space projects throughout the County of Los Angeles will undoubtedly serve to enhance the community’s well-being and provide respite and joy to children and families for years to come,” she added.

Measure A has allocated $245 million in funds to cities and park development agencies to create new park space and improve existing parks and amenities. The measure is also aimed at improving park equity, and 30 percent of the funds are set aside for projects in high and very high need study areas.

“The allocation of these competitive grant funds will serve countless residents across Los Angeles County who will soon see on the ground improvements coming to our parks and places where our residents recreate, explore and find respite in the outdoors, helping to address park inequities,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said.