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Mobile Recreation Program

City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks


The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) will launch a Mobile Recreation Program bringing a variety of outdoor activities to communities in need. Mobile Recreation vans will provide themed programs ranging from Olympic and Paralympic sports to skateboarding and creative activities, enhancing the lives of the youth and adults that participate. The program will commence at four LAUSD elementary schools through the Community School Parks (CSP) Program and supplement RAP’s after-school programs.

Has your proposal changed due to COVID-19?

In response to the current situation involving COVID-19, RAP will need to make modifications to the Mobile Recreation Program proposal. The most significant modification will be the location of the program; instead of mobile recreation utilizing LAUSD schools on the weekends and after-school, this summer they will visit LA city parks that are not offering Summer 2020 Youth Programs. Approximately 30 sites will participate with the mobile programs this summer. High contact sports and activities will be substituted for activities that allow for social distancing and stable groups such as field hockey, tennis, and track & field. Children will be placed into stable groups with a 1:8 instructor to child ratio. The groups will take regular sanitizing breaks throughout the program. During the summer, the mobile activities will take place outdoors where drills and activities will be adapted to maintain a minimum distance of six feet between participants. Individual pieces of equipment will be utilized by participants and all equipment will be sanitized before and after each group; proper personal protective equipment (PPE – facial coverings, gloves, and safety goggles) will be used by staff and participants. All activities will comply with the County Public Health guidelines and align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These modifications will provide a fun and safe environment for all participants.

Please describe the mission of your organization.

The Department’s mission is to enrich the lives of Los Angeles residents by providing safe, welcoming parks and recreation facilities with affordable recreational and social activities for people of all ages.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • City of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD - currently four locations and working on adding more.

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g, using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

  • Los Angeles Unified School District

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

RAP has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to utilize their sites during non-school days and/or hours, which will be the main locations for the Mobile Recreation Program. LAUSD will also assist with marketing the program to students and their families.

What is the need you’re responding to?

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) launched a Community School Parks (CSP) program, in coordination with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Four elementary schools in high park need areas were opened on weekends to allow the public to utilize the playground area.

RAP would like to implement a Mobile Recreation Program to bring themed activities to the CSP sites. These vans will introduce youth to traditional and non-traditional Olympic and Paralympic Sports, such as badminton, field hockey, judo, soccer, or wheelchair basketball/tennis. Other themes may include a van stocked with scooters and skateboarding equipment, a van focusing on teaching dance to youth, or an Ecology van.

Adding a Mobile Recreation Program to the CSP sites will bring structured programs to empty school grounds and create access to recreational and social activities that will encourage children and families to remain healthy and active.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

The first goal in RAP’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan is to “Provide Safe and Accessible Parks” because the lack of park access, particularly in low-income communities, contributes to disparities in health outcomes throughout the City. This includes ensuring every Angeleno has walkable access to a park regardless of race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status by increasing access to open space for Angelenos living in the highest park-need areas, through the CSP program. RAP strives to offer quality programs that reflect our community’s needs and interests and promote healthy, active lives.

RAP currently has two mobile vehicles that travel to schools, community events, and parks. These specialized vehicles are the models that we can refer to as they have been successful in bringing programs to youth and families that are not able to venture far from home. One is an Oceanography vehicle, and the other is a Mobile Ranger Station to bring wildlife, Jr. Ranger, and naturalist programs to youth.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

RAP envisions an accessible park system for all residents and is committed to equity by specifically focusing its resources to close disparities in park access and park program participation. According to the Trust for Public Land, 39% of residents in the City of Los Angeles do not live within a ten minute walk or ½ mile from a park. CSP sites are in communities that do not have a park within a 10-minute walk from their home. Opening LAUSD playgrounds on weekends is the first step in creating much needed access to open spaces in the communities that are lacking this feature. Providing a Mobile Recreation program at these sites will bring access to equipment, supplies, and instructors that is much needed in these communities.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Success for the Mobile Recreation Program will be defined by the increase in attendance and repeat participation at the current CSP sites, as well as healthy active youth. Success can be measured by comparing attendance currently at CSP sites with days that the Mobile Recreation vehicle is on site. Attendance will be monitored by the Mobile Recreation staff for each site and date they visit by tracking the number of people, gender, and whether they are youth or adults. Dedicated staff will rotate between sites on weekends to monitor the Mobile Recreation Program and visually assess the amount of attendance, interaction, and the success of the program, as well as get feedback from people in attendance.

The popularity of the program can also be measured by the addition of new CSP sites, which will provide more access to open space and recreational activities. The success of this program will assist in illustrating the importance and need to continue to utilize open space at schools throughout the city, as well as the benefits of greening schoolyards.

RAP’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022 goal to Provide Safe and Accessible Parks includes a metric to increase access to playgrounds and open space for 200,000 Angelenos living in the highest park-need areas, through the CSP program. Success of the Mobile Recreation Program will encourage additional LAUSD schools to join the CSP program, which will advance RAP’s 10-Minute Walk goals.

Which of the play metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Obesity
  • Youth sports participation
  • Access to open space and park facilities

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Communications support
  • Capacity, including staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation