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First `Necklace’ park to open in El Monte

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EL MONTE – The San Gabriel Valley’s long-discussed Emerald Necklace project will begin to take shape Saturday when El Monte opens its newest recreation site, Lashbrook Park, near the Rio Hondo. Lashbrook Park, at 3141 Lashbrook St., is the city’s first new park in decades, El Monte officials said. “It’s kind of exciting to create more open space in the city,” said Tom Hatch, deputy city manager for community services. “The Council has had it as one of its top priorities for people to have places to go.” Hatch added several factors have made the Lashbrook project an example of “good government” and proactive public response. El Monte joined with Los Angeles County officials, the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and Amigos de los Rios to spearhead the $450,000 project, which broke ground a year ago. Hatch said residents – including 400 at-risk youths, Boy Scouts and neighbors – helped paint walls, clear pathways and sow native plants at the 1.7-acre site, which formerly was covered with crushed rock. “When you look at how it was done at Lashbrook, you get young people to begin having a stake in their own community,” said L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina. “These are kids who were a part of linking a lot of people together for the Emerald Necklace. “It brings a lot of pride to them individually, as well as to all of us as a community.” The park also marks a unique collaboration between several groups: the California Conservation, Los Angeles Conservation and San Gabriel Valley corps, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Hatch said the agencies’ partnership is rare. “Usually they’re more competing for projects, and here they’re all working together,” he said. Lashbrook Park will serve as a pocket park that will provide an “eyeglass view” for what will become the Emerald Necklace, said Norma Garcia, environmental legislative deputy for Molina. The Emerald Necklace is a 17-mile series of parks and trails, making a belt of greenway stretching from Duarte to Pico Rivera. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2303last_img

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