Top Administration Officials Visit Downtown Park to Promote Urban Green Space
Vista Hermosa Natural Park, Downtown LA,
Jul 8, 2010 -
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34) (pictured right) welcomed U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (pictured left), Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and other members of the Obama Administration to her congressional district during a tour of Vista Hermosa Natural Park in Downtown.
Developed in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the City of Los Angeles, Vista Hermosa is the first public park built in this densely populated area in more than 100 years. The collaborative effort received federal, state and local funding as well as support from private foundations. Congresswoman Roybal-Allard also took the opportunity to tout the need for a vigorous partnership to press forward with the Los Angeles River Revitalization project.
“Vista Hermosa is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished through a federal, state and local partnership to bring nature back to an urban community,” Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard said. “With the support of Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers, non-profits and the members of the community, we’ve taken similar steps in our LA River revitalization efforts. EPA’s declaration of the LA River as traditional navigable waters is further acknowledgement that the Los Angeles River is more than just a flood control mechanism. I look forward to working with the Obama Administration as a partner in this effort to make the dream of a renewed Los Angeles River a reality for our underserved communities.”
The Administration visit highlighted the importance of creating more green recreational spaces in urban areas, which is a central theme of President Obama’s “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.” As part of the national initiative, the President asked his leadership team to convene public listening sessions and discussions on conservation, recreation, and reconnecting people to the outdoors. One such session took place after the park tour at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles River Revitalization project includes the development of parks, green space, pedestrian walkways, bridges, housing, and various economic development projects that will create jobs while maintaining the river's vital function of flood control for the community. Congresswoman Roybal-Allard led efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives and worked with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer to secure a $25 million authorization for Los Angeles River projects. The authorization ensures the long-term federal commitment to revitalize the blighted areas along the LA River and enables Congress to consider annual federal funding for new construction projects for river restoration and maintenance. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, the congresswoman has successfully secured federal funds annually for LA River revitalization improvements, totaling more than $7.3 million in recent years.