The City of Pico Rivera is undertaking a robust River and Park Revitalization Program to address the significant and permanent impacts resulting from the Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Modification (WND) Project, while uplifting the community from its current park poor status. Revitalizing the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers will promote lively and responsible riverfront development, enhance the natural ecosystem, increase access to park space and recreational opportunities, and contribute to regional active mobility. Holistically, the city will strategically identify opportunities to introduce new, non-traditional parks such as micro parks, parklets, paseos, dog amenities and outdoor furniture into the urban setting with all new developments. Overall, the city is seeking to activate new and non-traditional park spaces and trails while enhancing existing parks that are in significant need of repair and modernization. 

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Pico Rivera Parks Needs

Despite implementing strategic improvements to existing parks and recreative facilities, the city still severely lacks adequate access to parks and open space and this condition will only get worse upon completion of the Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Modification Project. According to the 2016 Los Angeles County Parks Needs Assessment, Pico Rivera currently offers 1.3 acres of park space per 1,000 residents. The County average is approximately 3.3 acres and the National average is 6 acres. Based on this parks-to-people ratio, Pico Rivera is considered park poor. 

Loss of Park Space

The completion of the Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Modification Project will result in the permanent impact to approximately 104-acres or 57% of its total park land in the city, further descending Pico Rivera below 1 acre of park space per 1,000 residents. 

Recent Investments and Planned Enhancements to Existing Parks

Despite having limited park space, the City of Pico Rivera prides itself in maintaining year-round programming at all park sites and community facilities, offering recreational opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities. It is due to this year-round programming and high demand that the city’s park facilities require enhancement and extensive maintenance. Therefore, the city has aggressively pursued and successfully obtained funding to modernize its most overutilized parks, while strategically laying out plans to enhance its remaining facilities. However, upgrading existing parks does not address the principal issue, which is the significant lack of available park space in the city amid further losses with the completion of the WND project. These enhancements are one step in a multi-pronged approach that will identify new and non-traditional park spaces that will coincide with the city’s growth and multi-corridor revitalization.

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