LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2018 Grants Challenge
🎉 Finalist

Play LA! Open Spaces for LA2050!

Play LA! will get you, your friends, families, and neighbors outdoors and playing in and around Los Angeles.


Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

The Trust for Public Land, along with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust and Community Nature Connection, will host a participatory park access and equity event that includes a large-scale play day galvanizing Angelenos to get out and enjoy parks and open spaces. Play LA! combines community organizing, participatory workshops, and interactive play to raise awareness of the importance of equitable access to parks and open space. Collectively we will create a Play! Vision for LA County.

Which of the PLAY metrics will your activation impact?​

Access to open space and park facilities

Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play

Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?​

LA is the best place to CONNECT

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles


How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?​

Advocate for policy

Trainings and/or in-person engagements

Increase participation in political processes

Influence individual behavior

Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to PLAY?​

Play LA! is a three-day participatory event focused on activating LA County residents of all races, incomes, and neighborhoods to play and be engaged and informed in advancing LA’s park equity issues. Without addressing our park and open space inequities, we cannot make LA the best place to play by 2050.

The first two days of the event will bring together between 500-700 community residents, designers, educators, innovators and policy-makers representing a range of multi-disciplinary issue areas including parks and open space, health, housing, transportation, and design to create a Play! Vision for LA County that ensures everyone has access to free and safe places to play by 2050. The event will conclude with a county-wide play day that includes opportunities for residents from around the region to get outside and play in our parks, streets and open spaces!

The event will start with a Park Equity Summit led by community members highlighting the racial and environmental injustices that have led to LA’s inequitable park access. Inequalities in the allocation of park and recreation resources will be shared through the perspectives of community leaders’ lived experiences. Elected officials, CBOs, academics, and school districts, including LAUSD and agency staff, will be on hand to hear community members outline problems and define solutions for park equity. Day one will conclude with a community vision for a healthy and equitable LA County and offer ideas to inform discussions on day two.

The second day of workshop sessions will engage leaders from cities around the globe in participatory conversations with local stakeholders. These sessions will draw on successful park equity solutions, with participants working across sectors, backgrounds, and experience to generate new solutions to advance park equity and help inform the conversation and shape best practices for LA County. Participants in these sessions will be accountable to community-identified problems developed in day one.

The final day of the event is a countywide celebration of the power of play, including hundreds of play-based events throughout greater LA County. The three lead partners will work with agencies, institutions, businesses, and CBOs to inspire and organize play-based events in parks and public spaces around the region, transforming greater LA into a veritable playground. Residents will be welcomed and encouraged to participate in guided activities in local parks, and will experience the reimagination of public spaces into vibrant and safe informal spaces for play (street closures, sidewalk events, activities in plazas, etc.). Park access will be highlighted throughout the day as our team arranges and encourages alternate modes of transportation, including transit to trails programs that provide free transportation from park poor areas to open spaces.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to PLAY​

The three-day event will engage community members (primarily those living in historically underserved and park poor communities), nonprofit partners, academics, policymakers, and agency staff on park equity issues, as well as their intersection with other equity issues, including housing, transit, and food access. Outreach for the event will be conducted primarily through direct community organizing within the park-poor communities where our organizations are working as well as a social media campaign. The social media campaign will include direct e-blast invitations to potential participants around the county. We anticipate between 500-700 participants over the first two days of the event and 100,000 participants in the play event on the third day.

Engagement for the play day will include social media and flyers, as well as yard signs in neighborhoods throughout the county. We will leverage LA2050’s financial and marketing support to recruit and team up with numerous stakeholders, including city and county park agencies, universities, businesses, and other CBOs to host hundreds of community focused events. Additionally, each partner organization will tap our respective social media networks. We will create event specific hashtags and encourage check-ins at each event to track headcount. Residents will have the chance to carry the movement forward, pledging their commitment to play regularly through a dedicated #PlayLAEveryday social media campaign.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

There are several ways we plan to define and measure success. The focus of the three-day event is to raise awareness of the critical role that parks and the built environment play in the health of communities in LA County. A key goal of the event is to increase local capacity of agency and CBO stakeholders working in LA County to understand and advance park equity by bringing them together along with key urban design and equity leaders. We expect the policy and design workshop to be a critical step in creating a shared vision and expanding on innovative ways policy and design can shape how we play in LA by 2050.

Success for the three-day Play LA! event will be determined by:

* Number of community members who participate in the Park Equity Summit

* Number of partners involved in the policy and design workshop

* Shared understanding of the problem and policy solutions as demonstrated by the 2050 Play! Vision for LA County developed as part of the Equity Summit and policy and design workshop

* Identification of critical policy elements to be included in both LA City and LA County planning efforts, including those currently being developed in the LA County Sustainability Plan

* Number of community-focused events during Play LA!

* Number of partners hosting events during Play LA!

* Number of participants in the county-wide day of play

* Buy-in from cities and agencies as demonstrated by their participation and sponsorship of events within their communities

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

Over 50% of residents in LA County don’t have a park or open space within a 10-minute walk of home. Without an adequate investment in parks, many of our residents go without access to any green or recreation spaces, particularly in high-density low-income communities and communities of color. We envision a Los Angeles where all residents have high quality, clean, safe, and sustainable parks and open spaces within a ten minute walk of where they live. Play LA! is about building a sense of activism and solidarity as well as awareness of the importance of park access. More than that, it’s about getting outside, being together with your fellow Angelenos, and having fun! Through this LA2050 opportunity, we intend to harness the power of the community, stakeholders, and thought leaders to help push an interdisciplinary approach to advocacy, policy and design. The Play LA! team hopes it will become an annual event supported in future years by businesses, schools, CBOs and others to celebrate LA by getting outside.