My Twitter Feed

February 22, 2020

News:

2015 San Pedro Prep Softball Preview -

Friday, May 1, 2015

Art Preview: ‘Non-Native’ by Ingrid Dietrich -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

San Pedro Prep Baseball 2015 Preview -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Recapping The Final Gaffey Street Community Workshop -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tiffany Torres Bears Down For Success At POLA High -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

San Pedro Fish Market Launches Scholarship Contest -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

San Pedro’s Rita Fiorenza Is A Basketball Revelation -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

‘No Lane Reductions’ As Gaffey Street Redevelopment Plans Move Forward -

Friday, January 9, 2015

San Pedro Prep Sports 2014 Fall Review -

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

LAPD Harbor Division and Philie B’s Pizza To Host Charity Events This Weekend -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

San Pedro Holiday Parade Returns Sunday with a Twist -

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Winter Wonderland Comes To The Waterfront -

Monday, December 1, 2014

One-Way Streets May Come to Downtown San Pedro -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

San Pedro’s Two Newest Volleyball Skyscrapers: Allison Kittell & Tracy Folchi -

Monday, November 10, 2014

San Pedro and POLA Prep Girls Cross-Country Preview: Running For More Glory -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

International Craft Beer Festival Comes to Crafted This Weekend -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Second Workshop for Urban Greening Project Receives Warm Reception from Community -

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Construction of Mixed-Use Apartment Complex on Gaffey Could Begin Next Spring -

Thursday, September 25, 2014

UPDATE: Blaze Inside Port of L.A. in Wilmington Nearly Contained; Air Quality Deemed ‘Safe’ -

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

San Pedro High Football Off To Another Strong Start -

Monday, September 22, 2014

Officials Break Ground on $1M Leland Park Makeover

Debbie Rouser speaks at the May 19 groundbreaking of $1 million of improvements coming to Leland Park, which fell into a state of serious neglect last year. Recreation and Parks General Manager Michael Shull, Councilman Joe Buscaino and Rec and Parks Superintendent Mark Mariscal also spoke. (Photo: Megan Barnes)

It was less than a year ago when Lu Clayton posted pictures on Facebook of the deteriorating state of Leland Park, the once thriving 21-acre park she’s lived next to for more than a decade. After park staff and programming were cut several years ago, things took a turn for the worse. By last summer, the park’s grass turned brown, its playground was covered in graffiti, and squatters and drug dealers had moved in.

Clayton decided to tag Councilman Joe Buscaino in the post, hoping to get his attention.

“You hear people say, ‘Why doesn’t somebody do something about this?’ and I thought, ‘Well, I’m somebody,'” she said. “No one knew it was that bad.”

She heard back from Buscaino the next day.

On Monday afternoon, Clayton was among a crowd of more than 30 people who turned out for the official groundbreaking of $1 million of improvements coming to the park over the next few months.

By early October, the park should have among other upgrades new walkways, lighting, fitness equipment, a basketball court, and a baseball diamond sponsored by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The makeover is the result of months of meetings between neighbors and Rec and Parks that all started with that Facebook post last summer. The park has already undergone a transformation in just the past several months.

“I want to thank all the neighbors for standing up and taking back this park,” said Debbie Rouser, who spearheaded the effort with Clayton and other residents who make up the Leland Park Advisory Board. She is now running for a seat on the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

“I thought that for a couple of months people would come out and clean like they did in the past and it would slack off after a while and things would go back to the way they were, but that’s not what happened,” Rouser said. “We aren’t done here. This is just the beginning and we have to keep this going.”

Buscaino praised the community for taking matters into their own hands and using social media to not only call attention to the park, but engage the neighborhood.

“We all know what happens when kids have nothing to do and get bored. Sometimes they turn to mischief and when we don’t have eyes and ears and we don’t have programming at the park, we see the results of what the park can become,” he said. “We heard loud and clear from the residents here and we’re delivering.”

Rec and Parks General Manager Michael Shull said the park’s neglect was never intentional.

“My first meeting out here was not good, but deservedly so. People were upset. This park was a symptom of what’s happening across the nation and the cities,” he said, adding that Leland Park is just one of almost 500 parks across the city. “You guys are going to have a beautiful park when we’re done.”

While Shull had hoped a part-time staff member could be brought back to the park soon, he said the way budget talks are going, it isn’t looking that way.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held when the $85,000 Dodger Dreamfield is completed later this year.

“I could not be happier,” Clayton said. “I’m so thrilled with what’s happening and the Dodgers building us a Dreamfield. It’s beyond our expectations. ”

Anna D’Asaro, who has lived near the park for 12 years, said she’s looking forward to seeing it come back to life after seeing it reach such a low.

“It was just deplorable. I babysit a few kids and I used to bring them down here and I just stopped,” she said. “We need parks. Kids need to be outside.”

Leave A Comment