As we welcome the new year, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) also reflects on our work to make Los Angeles the best place to PLAY!
While dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) adapted our programming and project timelines throughout 2020 to better respond to the communities our families call home. Through our COVID- 19 relief efforts, virtual programming and social justice initiatives, we have provided nearly 500,000 meals and more than $2.2 million worth of food, water, hygiene necessities, educational items and Dodger products to the most vulnerable Angelenos during this time of economic insecurity. In addition, LADF has supported more than 106 local nonprofits and social justice organizations working to address racial inequality and alleviate COVID-19 impact. As we supported Los Angeles' most underserved communities, we also doubled down on our commitment to complete the three Dodgers Dreamfields and Fitness and Training Zones associated with the LA2050 grant.
The project supported by the LA2050 grant includes building three Dodgers Dreamfields and Fitness and Training Zones at Gonzales Park in an effort to restore Gonzales Park to its prior baseball glory and promote a positive environment for youth of all ages to play baseball and softball. Alongside Kershaw's Challenge and the City of Compton as lead partners, these Dodgers Dreamfields are the first set of fields to feature energy-efficient capabilities and solar components, as well as be the first to infuse elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through LADF's Science of Baseball curriculum.
We believe that Dodgers Dreamfields are game-changers, and now more than ever, revitalized green spaces help revitalize communities, boosting the safety of local parks and providing a place where neighbors can gather, exercise and play. Together, LA2050 and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation make Los Angeles the best place to PLAY by creating a lasting impact for the City of Compton through these Dodgers Dreamfields.
Challenges and Obstacles
In February 2020, we hosted a community groundbreaking alongside Compton Mayor Aja Brown, Dodger Pitcher Clayton Kershaw, actor Anthony Anderson, and community members, partners, and local high school youth who will benefit from the new park. After the community groundbreaking event, construction was quickly underway before it was abruptly halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a significant delay in the project. Due to COVID-19, we needed to put a hold on construction to conduct an appropriate evaluation of our options. We wanted to be mindful of the level of involvement of LADF staff and partners as the project started, to ensure the safety of our team and collaborators and to move forward in a responsible and productive manner.
In the months that followed, we took the time to connect with all parties involved, including our committed project sponsors, about their continued support of Gonzales Park. We value their partnership and appreciate that they have re-assured their commitment to our project during such an uncertain time. With such a transformative project, we have also added new sponsors along the way.
The current list of partners includes:
Progress and Next Steps
After having to put a pause on construction, we are happy and excited to announce that the construction of the three Dodgers Dreamfields at Gonzales Park resumed in October 2020!
Construction crews started reconstruction with the tilling of the turf, surface grading and soil preparation of the field. This included the demolition of the fields and the entire backfield space, in addition to some concrete demolition and removal from the field site. This demolition was critical, as it ensures the Dodgers Dreamfields can be centered and repositioned in a way that better supports local youth as they grow and develop their skills throughout the years, from T-ball to high school and college athletics. In addition to demolition, construction crews started to upgrade the irrigation system of the park, which required the installation of new irrigation and drainage piping throughout the field site.
Construction crew preparing the field for construction
Continued development of the Dodgers Dreamfields
Most recently, final grading took place in preparation for continued work on field development of the three Dodgers Dreamfields, which includes the setting of concrete for park walkways, installation of sod and infield mix, installation of field fencing, construction of bullpen and Grandstand, and installation of lights in the back field.
Despite the unexpected delay associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently on target to complete this project by spring 2021, culminating with the celebration of Jackie Robinson Day. Final touches of the Dodgers Dreamfields, which will include application of the Science of Baseball signage and installation of solar scoreboards, will be completed immediately prior to the unveiling event, which is tentatively scheduled for April 15, 2021.
As a member of the Los Angeles community, we encourage you to stay informed on our progress by following us on Instagram Facebook and Twitter. When it's safe to gather again, we look forward to celebrating with you in person as we unveil our three Dodgers Dreamfields and create new community spaces for youth and families to PLAY at Gonzales Park.
To learn more about the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, please visit Dodgers.com/ladf.