Park Board Seeks Resident Input on New Playground Design

Former Park Advisory Board (PAB) Member Susan McInerney argued in 2014 that an inclusive playground would be an opportunity to build something exciting to replace the 20-year-old non-ADA compliant playground at the Palisades Recreation Center.

Over the next 10 years, board members came and went, and at least annually, the PAB would request a new ADA playground and bathrooms at 851 Alma Real. Nothing.

In June of 2022, the City Council passed a motion that all playgrounds receive funding to ensure every playground is modernized and has resilient surfacing and shade.

A month later the Pacific Palisades PAB sent a letter to Jimmy Kim, Rec and Parks acting general manager, stating “the condition of our ADA noncompliant playground and bathrooms are dangerous and unsuited to the standards of the LA City Department of Recreation and Parks. These conditions pose an immediate safety risk to users, as well as an ongoing liability risk to the City of Los Angeles.

“We have brought this matter to the attention of city elected officials and park management for years. In fact, on October 17, 2019, we wrote a letter to RAP listing our priorities, and the ADA violations were clearly delineated. While other priorities were addressed and we appreciate that, nothing has been done regarding the playground and the bathrooms.”

 It is 2024 and the playground at the Rec Center is now 30 years old and still not ADA compliant . . . and there is no shade at the playground.

But, with help from the City Councilmember’s office and RAP, it appears a new playground is imminent. Three playground designs have been given to the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) and residents are asked to weigh in on their favorite.

The PPCC asks you to send your feedback by email and those results will be shared with the PAB, which will hold its meeting on July 18.






ADA compliant, now L.A. City’s standard allows a child in a wheelchair to get in and around on the playground, but does not necessarily allow the child to use the equipment.


Accessible playgrounds are built so that a person using a wheelchair may use the equipment. It may have pieces that move or make music, and there may be an accessible swing seat and quiet places for children.


Inclusive or universally accessible playground goes a step further than accessible by challenging every child at his or her level and encouraging children of all abilities to play.

This entry was posted in City Councilmember Traci Park, Kids/Parenting, Parks. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Park Board Seeks Resident Input on New Playground Design

  1. Pepper Edmiston, mom of seven, grandma of eight says:

    All three designs are ridiculous. Colors too noisy. Shapes, lines are insane & confusing. Kids bring their own magic and color to everything. They need sturdy, accessible structures, along with a lot of shade, in one or two calm colors. I can’t believe these silly, futuristic creations are being considered. The sky, the trees, the breeze and old-fashioned equipment are enough for any child.

  2. Jay Nickels says:

    This is not a designed playground, it is a display of the most banal commercial playground equipment. Please require that design professionals be given the opportunity. My wife and I spent many an afternoon with our daughters there in the 60’s and 70’s

  3. Palisades Toddler Mom says:

    Excerpt from my feedback email:
    I’m a 4 year resident of Pacific Palisades and mother to a 2.5 year old. I am thrilled to hear of a park redesign that offers more shade to our community.

    I’ve had the pleasure of being a stay at home mom as well as a working mother with a nanny. As you may know, our park has a unique characteristic in that we have many nannies and child caretakers that accompany our young children during the earlier part of the day.

    Two thoughts before feedback on the actual designs. One aspect of the park services that we desperately need is close by shaded areas for younger children and their caretaker as well as shaded picnic areas. Younger children and their nannies currently have to sit in unshaded areas and usually at the perimeter of the grounds and close by to their strollers filled with all of the accoutrements that come with young children. Providing an area with shade and enough room for strollers and wagons that are also at least partially shared would be greatly appreciated in the unrelenting summer sun. While I know this is currently not in the scope of the current renderings, I wholeheartedly advocate for this type of area to be included in the redesign.

    A more subtle note about the current use: As the day progresses the park turns into more of an overflow activity for younger siblings and friends of team sports from the areas nearby. One of the benefits of the current layout of the ability to see across a large area to keep watch for younger kids responsible enough to play with less supervision.

    I also wish they would have added entrance points and a frame of reference to the area to make it easier to understand how you interact with the area. Any chance we could see updated renderings with these changes?

    Design Thoughts
    Ocean and Meadow – Best buildout for wider age range. Elder kids can still find adrenaline and build risk taking resiliency through the taller structure and the younger play area is still close enough to the rest of the action that toddlers don’t feel left out and flock to the taller structures. Difficult to see through the area if you’re trying to keep and eye on multiple children. Best color palette for the neighborhood. Shade looks plentiful from above but the majority only covers 6 swings and two small play areas. I suppose what is missing from these renderings are the benches and picnic tables and if they are shaded in some aspect. Speaking to the six swings only one of them is toddler size. During the day the park currently has toddlers in queue for a ride with the extra seat. Not to mention witnessing two tiny neighbors share a new experience which in turn becomes a new park friend. You don’t get that with one toddler swing. Do love all of the climbing opportunities and various height challenges this version offers.

    Forest – First thing I notice is the abundant balance course type set ups in this lower profile rendering. Of course I like the dual toddler swings. Not a fan of the closed in taller climbing areas, I would like to keep somewhat of an eye on my child, especially in younger years when they’re a bit more unsteady on foot. Perhaps a high percentage of paneling a perforated screen of some sort? While this theme is delightful, I feel it might also be the earliest to outgrow.

    Desert: First thoughts: Wow! Great job on the providing shade. The only setup without shade provides its own due to the structure. I appreciate the mix of low and high intensity stations that keep the younger kids close enough to the action, but still provides enough room and safety for all to have fun. The spinning apparatus is a hit at every park I see it (Shout out to Aiden’s Place.)
    I would have liked to see dual toddler swings (at least I’m
    consistent!) I appreciate the visibility throughout the park to different areas. Not a fan of the color way.

    Surprisingly, I was leaning Ocean and Meadow, but after this analysis I like the Desert option. But please, tell me we can vote for a color change?!

  4. M says:

    I agree 100% with Pepper Edmiston……..

  5. Merrick Hopkins says:

    I saw the pictures of the proposal on the front entrance door of the park’s Big Gym. I personally liked the 2nd option and some other people also agreed with the 2nd option.

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