LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion to negotiate and enter into a lease with the City of El Monte for a park project at the former MacLaren Children’s Center. The motion also adopts resolutions authorizing funding grant applications to the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, respectively, for the park project:

“Access to green spaces are a matter of public health and social equity,” said Supervisor Solis. “Parks are the cornerstones of connecting our communities, and they provide far-reaching benefits: improving our physical and mental well-being, strengthening the social fabric and community pride, establishing a sense of place, cleaning the air and water, and boosting the economy. Through committed engagement with residents and stakeholders, we have re-imagined a site with a dark past to serve as a vibrant space for generations to come. Today’s vote was a critical step in ensuring community members from the City of El Monte, have equal access to a safe, fun, and welcoming neighborhood park.”

From the 1960s until the early 2000s, MacLaren Hall operated as a County facility housing foster youth for short-term stays. Since its closure, much of the MacLaren property has been walled off and inaccessible to the community, although parts of the facility remain in use with administrative offices for County departments, a medical clinic, and Alma Family Services.

In 2019, Supervisor Solis and the City of El Monte initiated efforts to engage the community in shaping a new vision for open space at the MacLaren Hall site, approximately four acres in size. A series of community workshops were held to introduce local residents to the project and solicit their ideas and feedback on the design and programming of a new park.

The City of El Monte has been identified, through the Los Angeles County Parks Needs Assessment, as an area that lacks sufficient access to parks and recreational opportunities and amenities – having only 0.4 park acres per 1,000 persons compared to the County’s average of 3.3 park acres per 1,000.

The park project will consist of the development of the following amenities on a site of up to approximately 4.99 acres. The amenities will include facilities such as two soccer fields, softball diamond, basketball court, tennis court, walking path, convenience parking, restrooms, picnic areas, shade structures, outdoor classroom/performance space, ecological/sustainability educational features, children’s play areas, exercise stations, water feature, security and field lighting, and other accessory or support uses.

To view the motion, visit http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/150799.pdf.

CONTACT: Kimberly Ortega, Acting Communications Director, (213) 361-6435 or KOrtega@bos.lacounty.gov