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LA Conservation Corps is Creating a Greener Los AngelesPosted
Thanks to LA2050, the LA Conservation Corps has been able to vastly improve the services that we offer in Compton. Here at the Corps, we are fortunate enough to operate the beautiful Compton Creek Natural Park (CCNP), which also serves as home to our Compton crew of Corpsmembers. Because of the LA2050 grant, we have been able to expand our Compton-based programming, extend park hours to the public, and provide valuable work experience and on-the-job training to school-aged youth. LA2050 funding helped us to realize a 34 percent% increase in visitors to the park over the past four months.
The Corps is proud to be able to utilize Compton Creek Natural Park to partner with other nonprofit agencies to provide a venue for their programming. Offering a variety of native plants, winding paths, spaces for reflection, and a community garden, CCNP is a haven and respite within Compton. In December 2022, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice hosted an event called Planting Seeds of Change at the Park. This event was for young people interested in being educated about environmental justice and how they can play a part in educating the public in their communities.
Another non-profit agency we have been able to partner with is Community Nature Connection. Their “Transit to Trails” program starts in Compton Creek Natural Park by teaching community members about native plants of southern California, and then culminates in a field trip in locations such as the Santa Monica Mountains. This partnership is a great way to connect Compton residents with nature by starting in their own backyard and then providing opportunities to explore natural areas outside the urban core of Los Angeles.
We’re also proud to have hosted Compton Girl Scout Troop 1821 as they celebrated “A Taste of Culture” at the Park. The Girl Scouts explored various cultures and foods through a day-long workshop while ensconced in the beautiful surroundings of CCNP.
The grant from LA2050 enabled us to do all this and more by offering extended pPark hours to the community. Keeping the Park open on weekends allows our neighbors to visit and enjoy its amenities. Park users can take advantage of the fitness equipment, walking paths for bird watching, and access to the community garden to grow their own flowers, fruits, and vegetables. The Park has become home to a group of moms who spend time in CCNP during the week doing zZumba and with their community garden plots on the weekend. LA2050 has supported extended hours for the Park by allowing us at LA Conservation Corps to pay additional hours for our adult and youth Corpsmembers, who open the gates to our neighbors, supervise events, maintain park grounds, and provide access to tools and watering supplies for the community gardeners.
Our youth Corpsmembers in our Clean & Green Program are eight high school students from alternative charter schools in Watts, Compton, and Inglewood, all of which are run by our partner non-profit Los Angeles Education Corps. These young people get paid work experience and on-the-job training by providing maintenance and upkeep at the Park. They are taught how to use hand tools, how to tell the difference between native plants and invasive weeds, and they have received tree care training, including hands-on experience with tree planting.
Our youth Corpsmembers are also doing clean-up along the Compton Creek Bike Path adjacent to the park. They are helping to increase the safety and usability of the bike and walking path by removing weeds, clearing trash, and hauling away bulky items that have been illegally dumped. These school-aged youth gain increased knowledge about climate change, take pride in their increased environmental stewardship and commitment to climate resilience efforts, engage in meaningful engagement with their communities, and walk away with a clearer vision for future school and work plans.
Our young adult Corpsmembers (aged 18-26) who operate out of Compton Creek Natural Park also engage in conservation efforts across our city. As one example, they are restoring habitat and making Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City a cleaner and greener place for thousands of people to visit and exercise in per year. Working with LA Audubon and funded by Baldwin Hills Conservancy, we are removing invasive weeds, replanting native plants, restoring trails, and rebuilding the iconic concrete steps leading to one of the best views in Mmetropolitan Los Angeles.
Each year, LA Conservation Corps’ Young Adult Corps program provides at least 400 young adults with job training and supportive services that help them achieve self-sufficiency. The Clean & Green program providesprovide a “first job experience” for middle and high school students while beautifying communities in all 15 LA City Council Districts. With six sites across our city, our Corpsmembers are out every day making Los Angeles a more beautiful and green community for all to enjoy. We are honored and grateful that our LA2050 grant has made it possible for us to do even more within the Compton community.