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California Forever PBS: Urban State Parks

Click on the image to see the urban state parks video on YouTube.

Los Angeles County has over 10 million people, a larger population than 42 states.

Community advocates have fought to create great urban state parks in park poor communities disproportionately populated by people of color and low income people.

Los Angeles State Historic Park will transform downtown and tell the diverse history of L.A. and its people.

Rio de Los Angeles State Park provides a balanced park with active recreation and meadows along the L.A. River.

The Baldwin Hills Park lies in the historic heart of African American Los Angeles.

“Getting out doors, getting fit, breathing in clean air, interacting with people, have made this the outdoor health club of the west side,” according to David McNeil, Executive Officer of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy. We’re in the second district in the county, with the highest rates of obesity, the highest rates of diabetes, the highest rates of hypertension, and to build these places and see the next generation of people coming out, has been really inspiring.”

“Every child should have equal access to parks and recreation. Access to parks and recreation should not depend on where you live, the color of your skin, or how much money you have,” according to The City Project’s Founding Director and Counsel Robert García. “Engaging, educating, empowering people to stand up to city hall and say ‘We don’t want a commercial project at Taylor Yard. We don’t want 32 acres of warehouses in downtown L.A. We want parks.’ That is all part of the process of equal justice and democracy, listening to the people, creating the kind of community where they want to live and raise children.”

The people have taken the power into their own hands through organizing, research, media, advocacy, and access to justice through the courts to restore part of the lost beauty of Los Angeles and resurrect the Olmsted vision for a network of green space throughout the region.

Watch the two part PBS special California Forever on California State Parks. Both episodes will air more than 300 (and counting) dates and times on PBS affliates across the country! Click here for local times throughout the nation.