An empty utility lot at Fulton Avenue and Vanowen Street recently got a face lift and is now riddled with playground equipment for children.
"We took a well site, this is an active well site bringing water to the citizens of Los Angeles to drink, but it also provides an open space," said Jon Kirk Mukri, general manager of Recreation and Parks, at the ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for Fulton Avenue Park.
It took about $450,000 in community development block grant money to build the park, which is flanked by the Tujunga Wash to the south and the west.
The new recreation area is less than an acre in size, but it is part of the city's much larger "50 Parks Initiative" to open more similar sites citywide.
L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian was also at the ribbon cutting and spoke of the importance of giving community members better access to park land.
"Parks are a public safety measure as well. If we don't fund parks, it doesn't matter how much we fund the police department, we will not have a safe community, we will not have a community that offers our young people the kinds of opportunities that they should have," he said.
Van Nuys resident Hillary Oberstein brought her 2-year-old son Akiva, who spent his time during the press conference climbing and exploring some of the new playground gear.
"I grew up two blocks away from here," Oberstein said. "It would have been a fantastic blessing to have been able to walk to this park."
Fulton Avenue Park is open daily from dawn to dusk.