By K.D. Dunleavy
With so many different ideas about what an L.A. River park should include, it can be hard to see how to accommodate them all. One example of working together to advance various interests involves Anahuak’s Raul Macias and Jon Christensen, a UCLA adjunct assistant professor specializing in the environment and a board member of the non-profit Los Angeles River State Parks Partners.
Formed in March 2017, L.A. River State Parks Partners (LARSPP) is focused on three river-adjacent parks that figure prominently in the plans for an L.A. River Park: the Rio de Los Angeles State Park, the L.A. State Historic Park and the Bowtie Parcel.
Among LARSPP’s supporters is Metabolic Studio, a part of the Annenberg Foundation that had a big role in the artistic and environmental development of the L.A. State Historic Park.
“We wanted an organization that supported the community’s needs as well as protecting the parks,” said Christensen.
Working with Macias in his advocacy for more and better playing fields is central to that mission because “Raul and Anahuak are core to the soul of the community,” said Christiansen in a recent interview with the Boulevard Sentinel.
The hope is that a good working relationship around the playing fields will help to bring diverse communities together in support of other park-development ideas, such as passive recreation in the river areas that border the Rio de Los Angeles State Park.
“Soccer is a hook to have everyone participate…and come together for the good of all,” said Macias.
In the coming months, Macias and Christiansen, along with some of Anahuak’s soccer players, will press for more soccer fields at the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks, the California Department of Parks and Recreation and with local elected officials.