L.A. County Parks After Dark Program Garners Award

Whitney Levine

Parks After Dark Promotes Positive Parenting

Children play kickball at Ted Watkins Memorial Park in L.A.

For the past five years, the L.A. County Department of Public Health has partnered with the county departments of parks and recreation, social services, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and a variety of other agencies to keep parks open after dark on summer evenings in under-served communities, providing a variety of recreation opportunities and social services, and promoting positive parenting. Those efforts were recognized Dec. 4 when the department was honored with an Advancing Health Equity Award by The California Endowment.

This is the first time the statewide nonprofit, dedicated to expanding access to affordable, quality healthcare, has given the awards.

L.A. County was awarded the Health Equity Award for Exemplary Large County Practice for its Parks After Dark program. The program decreased serious and dangerous crime in the areas neighboring Pamela Park, Franklin Roosevelt Park, and Ted Watkins Park. Neighborhoods nearby without the program continued to experience an increase in crime rates.

Los Angeles County was selected among 13 public health departments across California that were nominated. Health equity refers to the ability for every person to live a full and healthy life regardless of any social barriers. The Health Equity Award for Exemplary Large County Practice comes with a grant of $25,000 to support the county’s continued efforts to further health equity.

To learn more about Public Health and the work they do, visit: www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

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