April 23, 2014

Playground Has a Fence!

Spring Street Park Playground Fence 3Just a quick update to share some photos of the new Spring Street Park playground fence. I want to thank everyone who signed and shared the petition through Facebook and Twitter. You have made the park a safer space for downtown’s youngest residents. I hope we can continue working together to ensure that Spring Street Park is a clean and welcoming space that meets the needs of all downtown residents.

Thank you again!

Update: We Won Our Fence!

20130710_194630_zps76641378WE WON! Councilmember José Huizar and the parks department are teaming up to install a playground fence at Spring Street Park (see news here). HUGE thank you to everyone who signed and shared the petition, as well as everyone who shared photos and stories. You are the ones who made this happen! Now the politicians and developers can’t say there aren’t any families downtown or that downtown families don’t count. Go us!

The opening of Spring Street Park on June 17 was a big deal for those of us raising kids in DTLA–the park is one of only two public spaces in all of downtown set aside for children. But while we’re happy to have a new space where we can let our kids run and play, it hasn’t been all good news for downtown families. The playground was built without a fence, making it impossible to keep out dogs (especially off-leash dogs), creating a safety hazard for the young children who play there every day. In addition to the potential threat from dogs, there are also problems with people who are high, drunk and/or mentally ill hanging out in the playground area. All the more reason to have a fence.
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Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Little RascalsRemember a time not that long ago when people assumed that kids and dogs were great together? Petey and the Little Rascals, Lassie and Timmy, Benji and whoever the kids were in that movie—it used to be that friendships between dogs and kids were celebrated. Well, apparently those days are over, if the reaction to the opening of Spring Street Park is any indication.
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Why Kids Make DTLA Better for Everyone

Our family has been spending a lot of time at Grand Park and I’ve been struck by how unevenly the park is used. Most weekends the park is nearly deserted—except for the wading fountain. Parents hang out in the shade drinking lattes from the park’s Starbucks while the kids splash in the fountain for hours. Meanwhile, aside from a few people walking their dogs, the rest of the park goes unused.

It didn’t have to be this way. When the park was in its planning stages, a few parents attended the planning meetings and asked that a playground be a part of the new park design. The request was rejected. The reason? There weren’t any families downtown.
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Car-Free Kids Weekend

Grab your TAP card and head out to enjoy some fun kid activities this weekend—no car required.

Zimmer Children's MuseumZimmer Children’s Museum
6505 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, 90048
323-761-8984
Hours: Tues-Fri: 10am-5pm, Sun: 12:30pm-5pm, Sat: Closed
Cost: $8 for adults, $5 for children, children under 1 are free
How to get there: Metro 720 Rapid bus

Exhibits include a tree play area; a water table with a current, fish and boats to float; a pirate ship with a ball pit; a full sized ambulance with dress up play costumes and a hospital play area and more. The museum offers art, music and dance classes during the week, as well as a robot building class. The museum is oriented towards Jewish families but can be enjoyed by kids of any religious affiliation.
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DTLA Parks Guide

With the opening of Spring Street Park, DTLA just got some more badly-needed green space. But Grand Park isn’t the only park in DTLA. Below are some places for you to check out if you’re looking for a space to let your toddler blow off steam.

Spring Street Park: Located on Spring between 4th and 5th Streets, this park is home to one of the two playgrounds in DTLA. It’s also become ground zero for resentment from some dog owners who think that the park should include a fenced dog run instead of a kid space. Things have gotten pretty ugly on Facebook and news sites such as Brigham Yen’s blog and the LA Downtown news (read more about it here). It’s really too bad because this is a lovely little space that includes a lawn, fountain, and plenty of seating. With parents meeting regularly at the playground, Spring Street Park is evolving into a locus of family life downtown in much the same way as Grand Hope Park (see below)
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