August 2, 2022
Contact: Janine Der Bogosian
LA County Parks and LA County Parks Foundation Launch Power of Play Initiative to Provide Youth with Equal Access to Sports and Recreation Programs
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved today a board letter announcing the partnership between The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation (LA County Parks) and The Los Angeles County Parks Foundation (LACPF). Power of Play is a joint initiative that builds awareness, support and a safety net to provide vulnerable youth and families access to high-quality programming.
Through this collaboration, LA County Parks and LACPF are dedicated to providing equitable access for all County youth, by eliminating cost barriers to programming to ensure inclusion for all, regardless of socio-economic status. Emphasizing heavily on equitable play and learning programs for youth, the Power of Play initiative provides youth in vulnerable communities with equal access to high quality out-of-school recreation experiences including a variety of Sports, ESTEAM (Engineering, Science, Technology, Environment, Art and Mathematics) Summer Camps and after-school programs.
LACPF, an independent nonprofit organization, aims to provide financial and other support for parks programs. The LACPF will allow the Department to expand its mission through unique public and private partnerships. The Foundation will receive grants, donations and contributions on behalf of the Department and apply those funds to ensure access to high quality programs and projects that transform lives and communities.
“The Power of Play initiative is centered around ensuring equity, access, and affordability for youth from communities of color,” shared Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “All youth deserve the chance to play and have access to out-of-school-time opportunities. And this collaboration will also help accomplish the County’s mission to measurably improve the quality of life for all Angelenos.”
“Too many children growing up in Los Angeles County, but specifically youth of color, are going through childhood with disproportionate access to play, sports and out of school programming,” said Norma E. García-González, Director of Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. “The LACPF will serve as the fundraising arm to bridge the gap in affordability and access by providing scholarships directly to vulnerable youth to participate in sports and after-school/summer camp programming.”
“All youth deserve the chance to play and have access to out-of-school-time opportunities,” shared Joe Mendoza, President of LACPF. “We know that playing a sport, having a coach as a mentor, and being a part of a team early on in childhood, and throughout adolescent development, lead to positive developmental outcomes that translate into success in school and in life. This is why LACPF’s work is necessary in eliminating barriers to play access by raising awareness of the needs of BIPOC youth growing up in LA County, and providing financial support to ensure their inclusion in valuable out-of-school-time-opportunities.”
Sports are one of the most constructive outlets for youth, teaching valuable life lessons, like teamwork, inclusion, commitment and dealing with adversity. The percentage of youth who participate in competitive sports is in decline in America, as youth sports opportunities are increasingly costly and exclusive. Sports participation among youth living in households with the lowest income is about half that of youth from wealthier households. Power of Play will help eliminate cost barriers by providing scholarships and resources for youth. All children deserve access to sports and learning experiences that equip them with the skills to succeed in life!
To learn more about LA County Parks Foundation and explore ways to support the Power of Play, please visit www.lacpf.org.
To learn more about LA County Parks offerings, please visit www.parks.lacounty.gov.
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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.
About Los Angeles County Parks Foundation
The Los Angeles County Parks Foundation (LACPF) supports park programs for under-served communities, seniors, and youth; supports the development of environmental education programs; funds natural resources projects to restore habitats; provides financial support to enhance and develop parks and trails; and more. With a focus on creating equitable access to great parks for all County residents, LACPF is helping fill the County’s parks and recreation funding and resource gap.