2022 Grants Challenge

Compton Creek Natural Park

This creekside park in a highly urbanized area provides school kids and the surrounding neighborhood a multi-sensory natural park experience that layers history, natural science and art. The new community gardens invites elementary school students and community gardeners to plant their own fruits and vegetables, and nutrition and cooking workshops will help them get the most out of their own produce. Privately operated by the LA Conservation Corps, the Park hopes to expand hours of operation and community programs to serve more people.


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?

County 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?

Compton Creek Natural Park is dedicated to providing its low-income neighborhood with safe, no-cost recreation. Residents want Compton to be a thriving place for people to grow up and grow older. However, the City of Compton still has less greenspace than more affluent communities in Los Angeles County. Built in 2013 with input from multi-sector partners to solve this problem, CCNP makes Compton a more livable community for all, because there is a clean, secure park with amenities within walking distance. The LA Conservation Corps has worked with local government, particularly Compton Unified School District and our neighbor Washington Elementary. The park is an important natural resource for our community. It provides green space for the recreation of the students at adjacent Washington Elementary, who otherwise have only asphalt to play on, and the community. It contributes to the urban tree canopy and collects rainwater. It is an oasis in the community.

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

This grant would enable us to work to provide greater access to the park, as well as activities, and ensure that this natural space continues to thrive. CCNP is a privately funded park. The LA Conservation Corps, a nonprofit environmentally focused youth development organization, offer young adults paid job training in managing the park and taking on other climate projects in the surrounding community. Not only are we providing park access and green space, but also jobs and career development to young adults ages 18-26 from the community. This park is entirely privately funded, no government funding for the daily maintenance and operations. Expanded weekend hours would provide more hours of paid work experience and on-the-job training for Corpsmembers. Corpsmembers' goals are to point their lives in a positive direction and connect with college and careers. Corpsmembers working at Compton Creek Natural Park are supervised by and receive training from crew supervisors in landscaping, amenities and facilities maintenance, public safety, facilitating programming, and communicating with park users. we can bring in the people through events to increase their engagement with this resource built for their benefit. Expanding weekend hours increases community access, and offering free activities promotes park usage. Offering environmental education programs for visitors promotes understanding of the community’s coexistence with the Compton Creek subwatershed.

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

This project will make a positive impact on the quality of life for disadvantaged communities of the City of Compton and the condition of Compton Creek. The park-poor neighborhood centering on Compton Creek Natural Park will have access to free outdoor recreational activities and a green space with amenities for exercise, informal sports, and picnicking, which will increase their health and well-being. This grant would enable us to work toward our next objective—to provide access to the park, as well as activities, on Saturdays and Sundays to whole families and working adults. We can host older residents by working with community groups and elected officials to reach out to them through the channels they respond to. Our park is already intended to be inviting to older residents through accommodating design, accessibility, and security.

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

Success will be seen in increased awareness of park weekend hours and activities; greater usage of park on weekends; improved connection between park and neighbors; increased of events being held in the park; and improved health and well-being of neighbors thanks to free outdoor recreation.

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

Direct Impact: 200

Indirect Impact: 1,000