ALHAMBRA, CA – On December 8, 2021, the LA County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Grants Division was awarded 15.5 million dollars in funding as part of Governor Newsom’s “Outdoors for All” Initiative, a project that aims to allocate $548.3 million in grant funding to deliver new parks and revitalize older parks all across California.

Of the 15.5 million, 6.9 million will be assigned to the modernization of Ruben Salazar Park, which will help address public health disparities by providing enhanced spaces for physical activity and ways to foster community connections. The other 8.5 million will be assigned to the creation of the San Gabriel Valley Aquatic Center Park.

“Many thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom for his recent announcement of Statewide Proposition 68 funding that the County of Los Angeles’ Department of Parks and Recreation will receive to provide a new park (Aquatic Center) to an area of very high park need, and also transforming Salazar Park, a well-loved and well-used park, serving a densely populated high need community within the First Supervisorial District,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “The new San Gabriel Valley Aquatics Center will provide families across the region with access to lifesaving aquatics programs. In addition, the improvements planned for Salazar Park in East Los Angeles will help provide critical cultural activities and spaces for recreation that will build community social cohesion and introduce new programming opportunities around physical and mental-well-being to ensure our communities thrive.”

In a press release issued by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, “People from all over the world come to visit our state’s natural wonders, but too many Californians today lack access to parks and open space in their own neighborhoods,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “This historic investment will revitalize and create new parks in more than 100 local communities, dramatically expanding access to the outdoors across the state and ensuring more Californians from all walks of life can reap the benefits for our hearts, minds and bodies for generations to come.”

Salazar Park is over 80 years old — the land was purchased in 1938 and developed into a park by 1940 — yet has undergone only minor updates over the past few years. The community of unincorporated East Los Angeles has very high park need, with only 1.0 park acre per 1,000 residents, so this investment to improve an aging and well-loved facility to meet the demands of the community is essential. The aquatic center will provide learn to swim lessons, drop-in swim, water fitness classes, lap swim and more. The new aquatic facility will feature a playground and picnic shelters.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded over $15 million from Proposition 68 as part of Governor Newsom’s Outdoors For All Initiative that will provide significant funding to two critical projects located in our highest need communities as identified by the Los Angeles Countywide Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment,” stated County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation Director, Norma E. García-González. “Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation partnered with Community-Based organization and community members to design these projects that will bring significant recreational programs serving our most vulnerable communities.”