El Monte has just 0.4 acres of park space per thousand residents,
compared to the average of 3.3 acres per thousand residents in Los Angeles County.
From the 1960s until the early 2000s, MacLaren Hall operated as a County facility housing foster youth for short-term stays. Since its closure, much of the MacLaren property has been walled off and inaccessible to the community, although parts of the facility remain in use with administrative offices for County departments, a medical clinic, and Alma Family Services.
In 2019, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and the City of El Monte initiated efforts to engage the community in shaping a new vision for an unused area of open space in the southeast corner of the MacLaren site, approximately four acres in size. Two initial community workshops were held to introduce local residents to the project and begin soliciting their ideas and feedback on the design and programming of a new park.
Below is a summary of key issues that community members identified at Workshops #1 and #2. For more information on upcoming workshops and how you can share your ideas for the future park, please visit the “Get Involved” page.
In order to bring the MacLaren project to fruition, significant funding will be required, and the project team is actively researching potential sources of funding, including the following:
Statewide Park Program (SPP)
The California Department of Parks and Recreation offers competitive grants of up to $8.5 million each for local agencies to create new parks and recreation opportunities in underserved communities.
Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) Regionwide Grant Program
This grant program funds projects that preserve open space and habitat in order to provide for low-impact recreation and educational uses, wildlife habitat restoration and protection, and watershed improvements.
Safe Clean Water (SCW) Program
The Safe, Clean Water Program provides local, dedicated funding for projects that increase local water supply, improve water quality, and protect public health. The program is funded by Measure W, passed by Los Angeles County voters in 2018.