2022 Grants Challenge

Building Playing Fields for Kids!

The TM23 Foundation is gifting to "Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services" $1.2 million to refurbish an existing dirt athletic field in the middle of Vista's campus. This new synthetic turf field will conserve water, reduce maintenance costs and allow for more programming rain or shine. The field will accommodate multiple sports and free play, and serve Vista's children during school hours, as well as neighboring youth organizations and schools after-hours and on weekends, providing our greater city with more precious green space for play.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

Vista Del Mar: Child and Family Services

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Green Space, Park Access, and Trees

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

West LA

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

The TM23 Foundation believes that now, more than ever, it is critical to provide safe and beautiful spaces in Los Angeles where children can engage with their community and play. Our city struggles to provide enough field space for athletics and free play. Soccer, for example, is the #1 youth team sport in our city, and among the most diverse, and yet Los Angeles has only four (4) public soccer fields (used for multiple sports) for every 100,000 residents compared to 16.7 fields per 100,000 residents nationally. Traditional grass athletic fields are virtually impossible for schools and parks in our city to maintain due to our region's history of drought, escalating maintenance costs and hazards associated with fertilizers / chemicals. This field refurbishment fully supports our Mayor's Park Proud LA city-wide initiative to convert grass athletic fields for the benefit of our environment and to support more types of recreation and the increasing demand our city has for play.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Vista Del Mar began over a hundred years ago as a Jewish orphanage. Today it serves many different purposes, including a school (Pre-K through High School) for children coming from our most underserved parts of Los Angeles, many of whom suffer from social, cognitive and physical disabilities. Vista is also a highly respected adoption and foster care agency, as well as a leader in mental health and wellness services. The new synthetic turf athletic field being gifted to Vista will serve its community of children during school hours, the demographics of which is over 50% Black and 40% Hispanic, and approximately 40 of which currently live on campus full-time. The field will be a magical place at the center of Vista’s campus where children will collaborate, create, connect, resolve issues in constructive ways, team build and of course, play. After school hours and on weekends, the field will serve local schools and youth sports organizations in the community who have nowhere to play given the nature of our dense city. By merging Vista’s community with the one that surrounds it, we are teaching children the power of community, diversity and inclusion. This is how we believe we will create an improved future for generations of children and families to come.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

In Fall 2021, The TM23 Foundation gifted its first athletic field to the City of LA at Westwood Recreation Center. This particular field, called Tommy's Field, was uniquely designed with no fence or lock to ensure free and unstructured play for all. Already, the field accommodates hundreds of free play users- children and adults- every day, which is a rare treat in our city. Tommy's Field has also allowed Westwood Rec to offer new affordable and creative youth programming - including holiday camps and a youth flag football fall and spring program that already has over 250 children playing in it every week. The field has also become a place where adults exercise and play with their peers and it has further inspired other communities in Los Angeles to collaborate and pool resources for the benefit of public parks and schools in their own neighborhoods. The model is already a success. We can't wait for Vista and other parts of LA to further benefit from it.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Vista Del Mar has been serving the city of Los Angeles for over a hundred years. The impact of the new field at Vista will be measured by the following metrics: 1. The number and kinds of new classes and athletic programs that the school will offer to its children, and the effect on their cognitive, emotional and physical well-being. It is through play that Vista's children learn best. 2. The number and diversity of children across the city that the field will serve annually after school hours and the degree to which these children and their families further support Vista in meaningful ways. 3. The types of special events that the field will attract to benefit Vista's students and families, as well as the community. Such events will include special clinics hosted our city's professional sport teams, uniquely sponsored inner-city tournaments and unique outdoor gatherings.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 1,000

Indirect Impact: 10,000

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

Vista Del Mar will work closely with the TM23 Foundation to develop unique programming on the field that benefits Vista's children and faculty. The field will be incorporated into Vista's curriculum in a meaningful way to support the mental, emotiol and physical well-being of its children and families. Vista is collaborating closely with TM23 on field design and will contract directly with the construction company to develop the field. Vista will also mage public access to the field in an organized and thoughtful way and build new relationships for the benefit of Vista, its neighbors and local third-party schools and organizations that have nowhere to play. TM23 will continue to work closely with Vista to maximize results for both Vista and its exterl community.