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Heal the Bay & South L.A. Students Turning Median into Pocket Park

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Plan for the pocket park (Heal the Bay)
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A charmless, desolate block-long traffic median in South Los Angeles is about to become the neighborhood's newest "pocket park" thanks to the efforts of Heal the Bay, some local school kids, and an infusion of grant funding from California State Parks. Located at the intersection of McKinley Avenue and E. 87th Street, this "dead" space is about to become the WAYS Literacy and Fitness Park, a green space that promotes sustainability and health by using water recycling and other eco-friendly practices and giving locals a new place to play and exercise.

The project, which is adjacent to a K-5 charter school, the Wisdom Academy for Young Scientists, will give residents and their community the chance to gather and create and sustain beauty where they live. Heal the Bay is involved as part of the Healthy Neighborhoods initiative, with the goal of not only creating new mini green spaces, but by tackling the issue of runoff and keeping trash and pollutants from making their way to the beaches.

"The project's park site was chosen by the membership of Wisdom Academy based on a neighborhood exploration walk, which lead to the selection of a quiet traffic median behind the school. The location was surrounded by residential homes and unclaimed other than by illegal dumpers," explains Heal the Bay.

Tomorrow afternoon at the project site, supporter and L.A. City Councilmember Jan Perry will join landscape architect Steve Cancian, Heal the Bay president Mark Gold and Wisdom Academy founder Kendra Okonkwo as hosts of an open house for the surrounding neighborhood and give the community the opportunity to kick-off the first phase of the project--the all-important first moments of asphalt removal.