Community members surround Councilmember Herb Wesson as he cuts the ribbon to officially open Washington Irving Pocket Park. (David E. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

Good vibes enveloped the area as Councilmember Herb Wesson and Council District 10 community  members officially opened Washington Irving Pocket Park on July 16.

The newly-renovated recreation space, located at 4103 Washington Blvd. in South Los Angels, sits next to the Washington Irving Branch Library, which allows children and adults to learn and have fun at both facilities.

Children enjoy playing on the long, multi-level jungle gym. (David E. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

The park boasts amenities such as umbrella-covered seating area, semi-circular amphitheater, and a multi-level jungle gym.  Environmental assets include permeable paving, sustainable landscaping and a smart irrigation system.

“This is what building communities is all about! Kids deserve clean and safe parks. I’m proud to have played a role in bringing this to our community. I am excited to know that our kids will have the best of what this city has to offer,” said Wesson.

Nailah Malik, children’s librarian, dramatizes a story about Liberia. (David E. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

“This pocket park is really cool because it’s adjacent to the library. Not only can you come here and have good time, you can also walk across the parking lot to the library and read a good book. And the library is one place that you can go around the world for free,” he added.

Renovating the 13-acres space cost $710,000, which is a much-needed investment, according to the councilmember, who noted that approximately 6,123 city residents live within a half-mile and can walk to the park.

Dakarrie and Etta Turner receive swag from Carmen Steward of LADWP. (David E. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

“Now these individuals have safe space for their children to play on the playground and enjoy the fresh air,”  Wesson said.  “This park is a great example of the community, the Council Office, and the two departments (Recreation and Parks and Library) all working together to utilize this space more effectively.”

Rose Watson and Althea Sayles accept free dogs from Justin Griffin and Martha Guzman of Chef Table Catering. (David E. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

The grand opening celebration featured several booths offering information on city services, nonprofit organizations and local businesses.  In addition, attendees enjoyed free hot dogs, beverages and music. Also, Children’s Librarian Nailah Malik engaged the young people with a dramatic story-telling presentation.

Councilmember Wesson and Librarian Marci Jones stand outside Washington Irving Library. (David E. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)
Tamika Moore visited the park with her daughters, Bailey and Nyla. (David E. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)