THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY REGIONAL PARK AND OPEN SPACE DISTRICT (RPOSD) RELEASES $23 MILLION IN COMPETITIVE GRANT FUNDS FOR YOUTH AND VETERAN JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS AND RECREATION ACCESS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY
Los Angeles County’s Continuous Cycle of Measure A Competitive Grants
June 1, 2022
Los Angeles County’s Second Cycle of Measure A Competitive Grant Programs Opens June 2
LOS ANGELES, CA – On Thursday, June 2, the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District (RPOSD) will be launching two Measure A competitive grant programs and release up to $23 million total in funding opportunities for cities, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and other eligible entities. Whereas the first cycle of Measure A competitive grant programs awarded $26 million in funding towards capital projects that promote, preserve, and protect parks and open space in February 2022, this second cycle of Measure A competitive grants will award up to $23 million in funding for the expansion and creation of new recreation programs. This will be a first from RPOSD in almost 30 years of grantmaking. This launch has been highly anticipated due to a previous cancellation of the program forced by unprecedented restrictions introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
- The Youth and Veteran Job Training and Placement program for the 2022 cycle consists of up to $10.9 million in Measure A grant funding available for education, skills training (career development), certification, and job placement programs in the field of parks and recreation for youth and veterans across Los Angeles County.
- The Recreation Access program for the 2022 cycle consists of up to $11.1 million in Measure A grant funding available for programs that aim to increase Los Angeles County residents’ accessibility to public lands and park facilities, including education, interpretive services, safety information, transportation, and other activities, especially for those in high and very high need areas.
- RPOSD is collaborating with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to provide an additional $1 million in Metro funding towards the Recreation Access program to fund transit to parks programs and initiatives as well as service improvements that directly connect the communities to high quality park facilities.
- Both of the guidelines for the competitive grant programs will release on June 2, 2022, with an application window open from June 20, 2022 through September 29, 2022. A virtual workshop for the competitive grant programs will be held in June 2022.
The collective experience from the pandemic over the past two years highlighted not only the value of parks and trails but also the need for equitable access to open spaces and recreational programs for all. Informed by the 2016 Los Angeles Countywide Park and Recreation Needs Assessment (PNA), Measure A includes several elements geared toward funding parks in areas identified as high or very high park need. A minimum of 30% of competitive grant funding will be allocated to high and very high park need communities, as identified in the PNA.
“Having access to parks and open spaces is essential for physical and emotional well-being. According to the Los Angeles Countywide Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment, more than half of County residents do not have access to parks within a half-mile of their homes, and over 52% of County residents live in very high need and high need park communities. With the strong support of the voters of Los Angeles County and the steadfast commitment of the Board of Supervisors, Measure A funding will continue to promote an equity-centered approach to create unprecedented access to parks by investing in job training for youth and veterans. We are also very excited to announce the collaboration between RPOSD and Metro and the coordination of Measure A and Measure M to create programming bridges to park access,” said Norma Edith García-González, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District. “We encourage cities, park agencies, community-based organizations, and all eligible organizations to apply for these critical park access programming funds and to attend the upcoming information workshop.”
“Access to competitive grant funding for youth and veteran work training programs is essential to support a successful and transformative Los Angeles County. These funds will help empower marginalized communities and local organizations by focusing on equity-based solutions to deliver innovative programming that will provide skills training and job placement – all while increasing access to green open spaces in park-poor areas,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District Supervisor.
“Funding for programmatic grants is very difficult to find. For two County entities like the RPOSD and Metro to collaborate is exciting and innovative. The ability for applicants to leverage these separate funding sources will be a huge step towards meeting the needs of our communities in accessing parks and applying for funding to provide training and programs that benefit youth and veterans,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Holly J. Mitchell, Second District.
“Cities, non-profits, and community organizations, you all bring the great ideas and we will bring the cold hard cash to make it real,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Third District. “Back in 2016, County voters overwhelmingly approved Measure A to improve local parks. This cycle of grants is specifically designed to train and employ young people and veterans to work in parks and recreation, and to enhance accessibility to public lands and park facilities.”
“Parks are such important parts of our communities. Through the Recreation Access program and this great partnership with Metro, we’re making sure that more of our residents can enjoy them,” said Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Everyone should be able to safely, easily, and affordably access the beautiful green spaces across LA County.”
“By offering this grant opportunity to cities, non-profits and community-based organizations, RPOSD is exemplifying a collaborative approach to creating new recreation programs. I wholeheartedly support that approach,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Fifth District. “I anticipate the forthcoming proposals will reflect creativity, innovation and a variety of opportunities to effectively engage youth, veterans and individuals who have accessibility special needs. I look forward to seeing which proposals rise to the top.”
In November 2016, Los Angeles County voters approved the Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches measure (Measure A) with nearly 75% of voters approving the annual parcel tax, affirming the importance of parks to Los Angeles County residents. Since the passage of Measure A RPOSD has allocated $360 million to cities and park development agencies to help fund new park space, create better access to existing parks, and improve park amenities. These funds also support community jobs across the region, including programs designed for youth and veterans.
For more information on the competitive grant programs and Measure A funding, visit the RPOSD website at https://rposd.lacounty.gov.
About Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District
Since its inception in 1992, the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District (RPOSD) has awarded more than $1.5 billion in grants to cities, County departments, state and local agencies and community-based organizations for projects to improve and rehabilitate our parks, recreational facilities, trails, and open space lands. Our grants have and will continue to make life better in Los Angeles County by building stronger and safer neighborhoods, enriching recreational experiences, advocating equitable access to parks and open spaces, and preserving our natural spaces for this and future generations. By empowering initiatives that create, maintain, and improve our open spaces, RPOSD can help ensure that everyone in the Los Angeles County region benefits from all that parks have to offer. This is all possible thanks to the support from the people of Los Angeles County.
About Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation
The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation manages 183 parks and operates a network of 70,079 acres of parkland, 475 sports amenities such as futsal, basketball, tennis, lawn bowling and multipurpose fields, 42 swimming pools, 15 wildlife sanctuaries, 10 nature centers that serve as a refuge for over 200 animals, 14 lakes – 3 of which are boating and swimming lakes, 5 equestrians centers, more than 210 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and the largest municipal golf system in the nation, consisting of 20 golf courses. The department also maintains four botanical centers: The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, the South Coast Botanic Garden, Descanso Gardens, and Virginia Robinson Gardens. The department also owns and operates the iconic Hollywood Bowl and John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, which are jointly managed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, providing County residents with valuable entertainment and cultural resources.