Residents gathered at the Reed Auditorium for a second meeting in order to provide additional input on making changes to Reed Park’s landscaping and expanding its playground. The park is located at the northwest corner of Lincoln and Wilshire boulevards.
The June 30 workshop began with the presentation of the City’s proposed improvements for the park that had been developed after the first community meeting. The City has hired Katherine Spitz Associates, a landscape architecture firm, to help design new landscaping for the southern street edges of the park and the area between the Miles Playhouse and the tennis courts. The firm will also expand the children’s playground to include the seldom-utilized shuffleboard and horseshoe court area. The City views the project as an opportunity to enhance the identity and sense of history of the park, to improve the park experience for visitors, to provide greater park sustainability and safety and a way to build community.
The goals for landscaping on the Wilshire Boulevard side include adding sustainable plants, providing groundwater recharge and making the park welcoming for all visitors. For the Miles Garden, the goals are to increase overall visibility, add lighting for night security, create a California Natives demonstration garden, promote sustainability, encourage use by neighbors and include the option of individual seating. It is hoped that changes at the Miles Garden will help provide a quiet destination and encourage activities for seniors. Objectives for both areas include discouraging improper use and eliminating turf.
Lastly, the goals for the playground are to expand the existing playground, screen the new playground from the basketball courts, provide creative, educational and playful elements, provide shaded seating areas and increase protection and safety. This will allow for active toddler play and will permit the playground to promote creativity and social games.
Suggestions made at the meeting included having trees around the playground to mitigate sound, adding a kiosk on the park’s Wilshire Boulevard frontage, placing chairs near the Miles Playhouse, making sure the playground is accessible for children with disabilities, placing signs around the basketball courts warning players to watch their language and putting fences around the play areas to encourage safe movement from one area to another.
The next step is for the project to be reviewed by the City’s Recreation and Parks Commission in August. Construction will begin in 2008, and should be complete by the summer of that year.
City staff said the budget for the project is approximately $450,000, and the project is part of the City’s 20-year Parks and Recreation Master Plan.