The Marina del Rey and Los Angeles International Airport areas will add two new parks as part of a public-private partnership that will create over 170 acres of new park space in the city of Los Angeles.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outlined the plan known as the 50 Parks Initiative during a news conference at one of the parks in South Los Angeles Aug. 23. The parks, a quarter of which are under an acre in size, include safety and environmentally sustainable features and are located in neighborhoods identified as most in need, Villaraigosa said.

“We have scouted the city, looked in the hidden corners, and found the small parcels, the vacant lots, and the weedy patches that would be perfect for neighborhood parks,” said Villaraigosa. “The 50 Parks Initiative is putting some much needed nature in neighborhood after neighborhood.”

Green spaces identified under the program include one along Via Dolce near Marina del Rey and 33 acres of LAX northside open space.

In 2009, the Department of Recreation and Parks began a Citywide Community Needs Assessment that found many dense areas of the city lack sufficient park space and facilities. Neighborhood parks and fitness facilities were at the top of the recommended changes.

“By creating these 50 parks in the least served neighborhoods of Los Angeles we are permanently transforming our city,” said Barry A. Sanders, Recreation and Parks Commission president.

“The Department of Recreation and Parks has been adding parks to its stewardship for over 120 years. Since 2005, we added 37 new parks and enlarged 15. With the addition of the 50 Parks Initiative, about 20 percent of the parks established during this department’s long history will be the work of the last eight years.”

To minimize maintenance, each park will include automatic safety features, efficient waste disposal, and environmentally sustainable design. Decorative fencing and automatic time-lock gates will help ensure that the parks close automatically and solar motion-activated cameras will act as deterrents for intruders after park hours, officials said.

Approximately $80.9 million in funding has been secured or identified for the acquisition, design, and construction of the 50 new parks.

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