By Tatevik Magakyan

What program offers a safe and welcoming space, healthy and fun activities for the whole family, a great way to connect with your community, and is highly popular? The Los Angeles County’s (County) Parks After Dark (PAD) Program!

PAD was launched at three County parks in 2010 and has since successfully expanded to 23 parks Countywide. PAD extends hours of park operation during summer weekend evening hours and provides participants of all ages opportunities to engage in a variety of free recreational activities, such as soccer, basketball, swimming and martial arts, as well as provides access to gyms and pool facilities; educational programming, including arts and crafts, healthy cooking and computer courses; and entertainment/cultural programming, such as movies, concerts, and talent shows. 

Each PAD park also hosts a resource fair and provides community members access to valuable health, social, economic and legal resources. In addition, County Deputy Sheriffs patrol the PAD parks and participate in activities alongside community members to ensure everyone’s safety, as well as to help build positive relationships with law enforcement. PAD offers a way for people of all ages to come together in healthy and active ways, improving overall quality of life for everyone!

Since its inception, PAD has helped transform parks into safe havens for community members to participate in quality programming and gain access to valuable resources. A 2016 evaluation conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) showed that PAD:

      • Achieves high participation rates and increases access to quality services and programming (over 175,000 participated in PAD in 2016);
      • Achieves high satisfaction rates (over 94% of attendees indicated they would participate in PAD again and recommend it to a friend);
      • Increases collaboration among different stakeholders (95% of agencies that participated in the 2016 resource fairs agreed PAD makes it easier to reach target populations);
      • Decreases community violence and increases perception of safety (an estimated 81 serious and violent crimes were avoided from 2010 to 2016);
      • Increases physical activity and reduces the risk of chronic disease (83% of participants engaged in physical activity during PAD, including those who previously led sedentary lifestyles);
      • Increases social cohesion and community well-being (95% indicated PAD improved relationships with neighbors, and 97% indicated PAD improved quality time with family); and
      • Achieves cost savings for the County (over 6 million dollars in estimated chronic disease and criminal justice costs were avoided)

PAD is led by the County Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with County Board of Supervisors, Chief Executive Office, Department of Public Health, Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department, and many other government agencies and community organizations.

This year, PAD will begin on June 15, 2017 and end on August 5, 2017. Programming will take place every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, at the following park locations:

 

DISTRICT

PARK/LOCATION

SD1(7)

BASSETT PARK - 510 N. Vineland Ave., La Puente, CA 91746
BELVEDERE COMMUNITY REGIONAL PARK - 4914 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.,
Los Angeles, CA 90022
CITY TERRACE PARK  - 1126 N. Hazard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90063
ALLEN J. MARTIN PARK - 14830 S. Giordano St., La Puente, CA 91746
EUGENE A. OBREGON PARK - 4021 E. First St., Los Angeles, CA 90063
SAN ANGELO PARK - 245 S. San Angelo Ave., La Puente, CA 91746
RUBEN SALAZAR PARK - 3864 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90023

SD2 (7)

ATHENS PARK - 12603 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90061
MARY M. BETHUNE PARK  - 1244 E. 61st St., Los Angeles, CA 90001
EAST RANCHO DOMINGUEZ PARK - 15116 S. Atlantic Ave., Compton, CA 90221
HELEN KELLER PARK - 1045 W. 126th St., Los Angeles, CA 90044
JESSE OWENS PARK - 9651 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90047
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT PARK - 7600 Graham Ave., Los Angeles CA 90001

TED WATKINS MEMORIAL PARK - 1335 E. 103rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90002

 

SD3 (1)

EL CARISO PARK - 13100 Hubbard St., Sylmar, CA 91342

SD4 (4)

ADVENTURE PARK - 10130 S. Gunn Ave., Whittier, CA 90605
AMIGO PARK - 5700 Juarez Ave., Whittier, CA 90606
AMELIA MAYBERRY PARK - 13201 E. Meyer Road, Whittier, CA 90605
SORENSEN PARK - 11419 Rose Hedge Dr., Whittier, CA 90606

SD5 (4)

PAMELA COUNTY PARK- 2236 Goodall Ave., Duarte, CA 91010
LOMA ALTA PARK - 3330 N. Lincoln Ave., Altadena, CA 91001
STEPHEN SORENSEN PARK - 16801 East Avenue P, Lake Los Angeles, CA 93591
VAL VERDE COMMUNTY REGIONAL PARK - 30300 W. Arlington Road,
Val Verde, CA 91384