“That’s all good, too,” she said after laughing at my suggestions. “You should come, too, and share your ideas… We want to be sure ultimately that the park is utilized and meets the community’s needs; so the new design represents the community.”
To kick off that discussion, representatives from the city and design firm AHBE will listen to suggestions at Providence High School’s Multipurpose Room, 511 South Buena Vista St., at 6 p.m. tonight. It’s the first of three meetings to piece together a draft of what the new park will look like — the other two are not yet scheduled.
To pay for the improvements, $2.5 million has been budgeted by the city; the parks department is applying for an additional $2.5 million in grants. Officials hope to break ground sometime next year.
From what Bartolo has told me, the new design will still operate like the old Johnny Carson Park, but new landscaping and sustainability will figure highly into the plans. There will still be the retention stream, though now that may disperse water back into the water table instead of dumping it into the L.A. River.
The city is also considering new energy-efficient lighting throughout the park, renovations to the playground and a new irrigation system.
The whole idea is to make the park more sustainable overall, Bartolo said.
So why Johnny Carson Park, and why now?