Construction for a several new amenities to L.A. Wise Park are slated to begin this fall. This is made possible by the City’s Neighborhood Works initiative. Begun in 2016 and funded via City sales tax, the Neighborhood Works is a unique program through which neighborhood associations compete for funding to improve public assets in their neighborhoods.
The Bissett Neighborhood Association was successful in obtaining two grants through the program. The first resulted in the 2018 construction of the pavilion in L.A. Wise Park. The second grant for $63,778 was awarded in 2018 and its site work is due to commence this fall.
The winning grant proposal outlines a variety of desired amenities to the park and surrounds. They include a multi-purpose hard-surface sports court improvements to the soccer field, cooking grills near the pavilion and sitting benches adjacent to the soccer field and future court. Since the grant amount was based on conceptual cost estimates developed in late 2017, the original list of proposed amenities may or may not be possible to build without going over the grant amount. That said, we can expect to soon be enjoying substantial improvements to the park even if every item does not get built. Plans for a walkway connecting the park to Bissett Elementary are still under development for a later date.
Work begins this fall on these projects:
Amenity 1: Install permanent outdoor cooking grills adjacent to the new pavilion. Adding grills would make the park much more useful for family picnics and similar activities. This will result in a greater number and diversity of park users including many who may not have the physical ability to jog the track or play soccer.
Amenity 2: Install park benches under the trees near the pavilion and close to the soccer field and proposed multi-use court. Currently there are four benches in L.A. Wise Park, none of which are in the shade, and there are no benches for spectators and players while playing soccer or using the proposed sports court. By adding seating, the sporting activities can be better enjoyed by players, those waiting to play and importantly, those who lack the physical ability to play, but enjoy the fellowship of spectating.
Amenity 3: Soccer field improvements to enhance field playability. Proposed improvements include rehabilitating the turf in and near the soccer goals, leveling and reseeding/sodding the field, and installing permanent corner markers for the field. Soccer is by far the most frequently played team sport at L.A. Wise Park, but the field is in poor condition.
Amenity 4: Install a multi-purpose court
While the existing soccer field gets a considerable amount of usage, there are no facilities for those desiring to play such games as basketball, futsal, Pickleball, shuffleboard, badminton and other court games. A concrete or asphalt surface court is proposed to be constructed with markings for a variety of court games, basketball goals and poles from which various court nets can be attached. Futsal is played on a court about the size of a basketball court, with rules similar to soccer, but with a smaller ball. It can be played by a great many individuals who may lack the stamina for soccer. If the court is built to support futsal, it may be the only outdoor futsal court in town — Lake Country Soccer has an indoor court. This may help to attract more to play it both from our neighborhood and elsewhere.
We believe this expanded range of park amenities will facilitate fit and healthy lifestyles, and should significantly increase park usage.
We are pleased the improvements will soon become a reality, and while funding may be insufficient to cover all the proposed amenities, we look forward to these big improvements to our neighborhood.