Tucked behind the Monrovia School District offices lies Julian D Fisher Park. It is one of many pocket parks dotting Monrovia, but this one is special because of its 3 regulation size basketball courts. Good enough that it is listed on the “Courts of the World” web as a place to go for pick up games and just enjoy the sport.
Bringing it closer to home for me, the Monrovia Mountaineers, a competitive travel basketball team for 14 and under age kids uses it for practice when local gyms aren’t available. We (as in my youngest child who is a Mountaineer) are at this park for practices with his team several times a week.
There is also a nice Picnic Pavilion and play ground area to round out the usefulness of this pocket park. Fair warning, this park is packed in the evenings and on weekends. Week day mornings you tend to find the odd Mom and kidlet in the play area. Parking is limited on Almond Avenue, but not completely impossible to find a space within walking distance of the entrance to the park.
After some two years in the way of planning and designing, many hours of many weekends this spring were spent by volunteers digging and hauling and planting and nurturing and shaping and scaping what had long been the desolate corner of concrete at the intersection of Parkman Avenue and Silver Lake Boulevard south of Sunset Boulevard into the living “urban lounge” that is now one of Los Angeles’ newest pocket parks.
While I failed miserably and absolutely in my intentions to pitch in, thankfully there were enough of my neighbors who got involved and stayed involved and enlisted others that gave of themselves. And it all culminated yesterday with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by City Councilman Eric Garcetti, who spoke eloquently about the importance of projects such as this.
Pictured above in the front row flanking the giant-scissor-bearing councilman are Julie Hansen and Ara Babian to Garcetti’s right, with Leon Kaye and John Southern to his left. Southern is holding a certificate of appreciation presented by the city’s Office of Community Beautification.
To make up for my lack of volunteer participation in the park’s creation, I’ll be helping maintain it with monthly visits to remove the inevitable trash that will accumulate. In addition, I plan to utilize it as a new gathering point for any future group bike rides I may host since it’s one that’s a lot pleasant than the parking lot at Silversun Plaza, what with its liquor store’s cranky bike-hating proprietor.
More info on the nonprofit Parkman Triangle Group is here, and below is a pic of the space:
Discovering a small neighborhood park tucked away down quiet side streets is such a joy. It’s like finding hidden treasure. The green grass, the open space, maybe a few courts with people playing and having fun. Picnickers, dogs, families, the occasional tortoise = joy.
Glen Alla Park in Marina Del Rey is just such a park.
Located at Glencoe Avenue and Alla Road (natch), the park takes up a good city block and is within walking distance to the mall nearby. There is plenty of parking on both Glencoe and Alla. Plenty of photos of the park and the facilities follow the map. (Click the map to go to the actual google map page.) (Apologies that the day I was there it was overcast.)
First and foremost, there are bathrooms. I didn’t go in, but they looked tidy and well ventilated.
Just across from the bathrooms was the jungle gym playground area. I love that big happy dolphin!
This playground area was surrounded by fencing though. A sign indicated that it would soon be under construction starting in two weeks. Turns out they are going to put in a Shane’s Inspiration, all accessible playground. This is fantastic!
The mission of Shane’s Inspiration is to create Universally Accessible Playgrounds and programs that integrate children of all abilities socially, physically and emotionally, fostering acceptance, friendship and understanding.
Click here to find the many many Shane’s Inspration parks around LA.
If you have or you know kids with disabilities but haven’t heard of Shane’s Inspiration parks, why not go find one this weekend?
Back to Glen Alla….There is a wide grassy area with tons of room for frisbee throwing, baseball catching, picnicking, and lawn darts.
There were many dogs and their owners running around, despite the “dogs must be on a leash” signs scattered about. Everyone looked pretty mellow and under control.
Along one side of the park were the courts — Basketball:
And next to that, two tennis courts:
Then there was a stretch of space with picnic tables (under those trees to the right of the tennis courst), but it also looked like it was becoming the staging area for building supplies with two large shipping containers. But then past THAT, were three, count them three, paddle tennis courts! Both the Paddle Tennis and regular tennis courts have brand spanking new nets.
There were a couple of excellent trees for climbing.
But alas, no golf. Just don’t do it!
All in all it is a lovely, well kept park in the Marina, slightly off the beaten path, away from any hustle and bustle. I know if I lived nearby, I’d mosey down there a lot to play tennis and paddle tennis.
Stay tuned for more posts about pocket parks. If you have a small park you love and want to share, please do so in the comments.