DOWNEY - Funding from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) to the tune of $100,000 is set to transform the looks of the city's 2-acre Brookshire as it undergoes renovation starting on or about March 17 to better serve the park's users.Groundbreaking is this Saturday, March 8. The upcoming renovation is a joint project of First 5 LA, the LACC, and the city's Parks & Recreation Department. First 5 LA, charged with distributing money generated from Prop. 10 tobacco tax funds, points to the crucial importance of healthy development in the first five years of life and thus its focus on helping "kids have the best possible start in life." With $75,000 earmarked for new playground equipment (a new seesaw, swing and spring rider) that will feature a garden theme, as well as a walking trail that will loop around the north side of the park with park benches and other site amenities, the LACC is providing $25,000 worth of labor. The existing equipment at the park, which was opened to the public in 1971, consists of a turtle, a climber, and an old swing set. Actually, the city of Downey last Feb. 27 went ahead and partnered with Coca-Cola to "beautify" the park in advance of the renovation. Twenty-five of Coca-Cola's Leadership Academy members took part in adding shrubs and plants, and applying mulch around the north and south perimeters, as these will not be part of the renovation project. In a city press release, mayor Fernando Vasquez made sure to commend Coca-Cola's "valued and continued support" to the community through last week's beautification and other projects over the years. He cited the local bottling company as "one of our Stay Healthy Downey partners which support various events and programs that promote a healthy and sustainable community." According to Parks & Recreation director Arlene Salazar, there are about 18 such Stay Healthy partners, including the Downey YMCA, Kaiser-Permanente, PIH Downey, Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center, AppleCare, the Downey Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Army, DUSD's TLC, and The Downey Patriot. Located at 12520 Brookshire Ave., Brookshire Park has averaged over 6,000 visits a year. Salazar says these are minimum numbers based on July-September figures when staff is present.
********** Published: March 6, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 47