Availability and access to urban parks promotes the health and well-being of communities, while also supporting ecosystems, stormwater capture, and urban forestry. To expand park and recreational space in historically underserved neighborhoods, the Los Angeles County Regional Parks and Open Space District (RPOSD) wanted to create a Technical Assistance Program to help these neighborhoods better compete for new park funding. FUSE Executive Fellow Jack Sahl led the development and implementation of the program, which aims to achieve equitable access to parks and open space across the county.
To support this work, Jack conducted community outreach and engagement, while also working on initiatives to address neighborhood gentrification and displacement. He helped develop a program that not only provides guidance on grant writing and administration, but also supports community outreach and engagement and park development, planning, and design. He also helped build a team focused on delivery of additional, curated park development and grantmaking resources for the communities most in need of support. Jack’s work with RPOSD enhanced the program and set in place mechanisms for sustainability of services and service delivery. By helping communities learn how to compete for and receive grants, as well as acquire and develop parkland, the County is working to improve the quality of life for some of its most vulnerable residents.