Improving Access to Vibrant Parks in Limited-Income Communities through LADF’s 75 by 75 Dodgers Dreamfields
With LADF’s 75 by 75 Dodgers Dreamfields, LADF will refurbish 75 Dodgers Dreamfields by 2033 -- the LA Dodgers’ 75th anniversary of moving to LA. These Dodgers Dreamfields will level the playing field for communities experiencing social injustices by ensuring youth have improved access to vibrant green spaces in their neighborhood. With a focus on equity and access, these Dodgers Dreamfields will also serve as resource hubs to deliver sports-based youth development programming, as well as resources in education, health care, and basic needs.
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation County Community Services Agency City of Inglewood Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department YMCA Metropolitan Los Angeles City of Maywood Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley & Eastside Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles City of Fontana City of Compton LA84 Foundation
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?
LA County Department of Parks and Recreation has just 11 fields per 100,000 residents, whereas the national average is 14.6 fields. Latinos make up 49% of LA County’s population, yet represent 64% of people who live in high park need/low life expectancy tracts; only 8% of the LA County identifies as Black, but represent 14% of those who live in high park need/low life expectancy tracts. Lack of park access in racially diverse communities prevents youth and families of color from being part of their own community. When youth of color do not have positive environments where they can learn, grow, and develop, they are at significant risk of participating in unhealthy life choices that diminish health outcomes over their lifetime. Along with stressors associated with limited-income communities, such as poor or unstable housing, food and income insecurity, inadequate schools, high crime and violence, the lack of park space for youth of color are racial justice and public health issues.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
In an effort to address the issues in park access that Los Angeles’ youth face in limited-income communities, LADF has doubled down on our efforts to significantly change the landscape in Los Angeles by completing 75 Dodgers Dreamfields by 2033, the LA Dodgers’ 75th anniversary of moving to LA. Dodgers Dreamfields, LADF’s longest-standing program, builds and refurbishes baseball and softball fields to give families across Los Angeles a safe place to gather, improving access to vibrant, safe parks in limited-income communities. Joining LADF’s 58 already existing Dodgers Dreamfields, our goal to achieve 75 by 75 is about bringing together families, volunteers, recreation departments, nonprofit organizations, advocates, resources, and donors in a big way, to create the ultimate dreamteam to ensure youth in under resourced communities have access to high-quality park space in their neighborhoods. Dodgers Dreamfields are game-changers, revitalizing green spaces to help re-energize the community’s use of parks, creating a renewed sense of belonging for local neighbors, especially after the pandemic. With Green Space, Park Access, Trees, and Community Safety being some of the highest-priority areas for Angelenos, we believe now is an opportune time to partner with LA2050 and the LA2050 community to ensure communities across Los Angeles will live in close proximity to vibrant, safe parks and have access to high-quality, sustainable open spaces for recreation by 2050.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Our vision for the 75 by 75 Dodgers Dreamfields goes beyond investing financial, infrastructure, and personnel resources to ensure there are vibrant places for the community to use. With LADF’s 75 by 75 Dodgers Dreamfields, we are committed to ensuring more youth, families and communities have access to improved park space – space that is vibrant and safe for them to gather with neighbors and use for exercise and play. These Dodgers Dreamfields mean so much more to limited-income communities, as they also signify a leveling of the playing field to ensure those experiencing social injustices have equitable access to community resources – resources that are safe, reliable and vibrant places to socialize, engage in, heal with, and grow from. Dodgers Dreamfields planned for this project are truly a profound way to boost the safety of local parks, while building more resilient communities through environmental design.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
LADF’s Director of Evaluation and Impact will oversee a comprehensive critical evaluation process utilizing qualitative and quantitative data to determine impact of 75 by 75, which includes field assessment surveys, demographic data collection, focus groups, meetings with community partners, and more. Additionally, our measurable mid-term outcomes include youth and adults developing in healthier ways; narrowing opportunity and access gaps to play; and neighborhoods as sources of pride and safety leading to a stronger community. At a recent park unveiling, a community member and parent shared, “I think this gives the community a sense of we matter, somebody cares about our youth… and paying attention to the things that we need. For so much time nobody catered to the parks.” Over 90% of park sites reported a positive change in environment since construction of their Dodgers Dreamfield; we anticipate similar positive, community perspectives and quantifiable improvements with 75 by 75.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 400,000
Indirect Impact: 1,600,000
Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.
Through our partnerships with City and County Parks and Recreation Departments, we ensure these Dodgers Dreamfields are partially funded through municipality grants and appropriately permitted, while leveraging their position to advocate for these Dodgers Dreamfields in communities that need them most. As lead partners, City and County also assume responsibility for maintaining the Dodgers Dreamfields, ensuring their long-term investment in the project. The YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and LA84 Foundation have been long-standing partners of LADF’s Dodgers Dreamfields, and we will continue to deepen our partnership with 75 by 75. Together, we aim to limit barriers for youth in limited-income communities, so they may play the game of baseball/softball.