Community Resilience and Access Planning for CA Parklands
Questions or want to learn more? Reach out to Gabriel Varela
With the assistance of an ASAP microgrant, Climate Resolve is currently working on a Community Resilience and Access plan for the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Parklands in Los Angeles, California. Climate Resolve’s work is one of ASAP’s three Hubs Microgrants which are all focused around activating grassroots engagement across the ASAP network. You can learn more about all of the projects here. The Hubs Microgrant Porgram is supporting Climate Resolve in fostering stakeholder engagement to gather feedback from community members on their vision for a resilience hub at the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Parklands.
The Climate Resolve project seeks to create an inclusive community resilience and access plan. The objective is for the parklands to become a resource for all of the region’s communities including those communities of color that are often denied access to parks and green spaces. Through this project the team is assessing multiple aspects of the way local constituents interact with the parks and uplifting the voice of the community to guide our recommendations.
In June, Climate Resolve helped lead a kick-off workshop together with project partners Slate-Z, Baldwin Hills Conservancy, and Sumire Gant Consulting. Thanks to the efforts of their project partners, the team was able to gather a group of 87 community members to participate in the workshop and give their feedback on access and resilience in the Baldwin Hills Parklands. The group consisted of both Spanish and English speakers living in South Los Angeles and surrounding areas.
For those that might not be familiar with the Los Angeles landscape, the South LA area is home to a large working-class BIPOC community. In the communities the project team is working with, Latinx and African Americans make up 94% of the population and 46% are below the poverty line. The area also ranks low when looking at the tree coverage. Access to green spaces is limited due to the legacies of freeway construction, redlining, and city planning among others. Therefore, trees and parks are essential to the response to the impacts of climate change and we want to make sure that the communities in South LA have an opportunity to access the parks and increase their resilience during the times of the year when we experience the worst impacts of climate change.
Through this kick-off workshop the team presented the project and goals to the greater South LA community, gathered thoughts on what community members consider important for local resilience, and collected initial feedback on community interactions with the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Parklands. Many comments were shared around addressing community members’ experiences with the parks. The team also listened to how community members travel to the parks and whether they encounter barriers to access. The feedback also included details on preferred modes of transportation, the most common physical activities for visitors, and the park amenities that residents would most like to see in the Parklands. This feedback will help guide recommendations geared towards making sure the South LA community has equitable access to one of the few large green spaces in the city.
Following this community workshop, the team is planning a visit to the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Parklands in the early Fall where community members and local stakeholders will have the opportunity to visualize the possibilities for improving access and resilience in the Parklands and take a tour of the various spaces where we can incorporate equity measures. This is just the first step in the community engagement process and we are excited to uplift the voices of the South Los Angeles community and include their feedback in the final resilience and access plan so that it accurately reflects the needs of the people.