A 30-year-old effort to turn a former industrial site in unincorporated West Carson into public green space has been completed.

At a May 16 ceremony, officials with Los Angeles County dedicated Wishing Tree Park, which spans 8.5 acres at 20400 Budlong Avenue.

View of Wishing Tree ParkLos Angeles County Parks & Recreation

"We are proud to officially open Wishing Tree Park. This moment is the culmination of over 30 years of advocacy by community members and dedication from our LA County Parks Department to bring much-needed green space to the unincorporated West Carson area," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell in a news release. "I cannot wait to see our residents enjoying this 8.5-acre contemporary park that will impact generations to come."

According to the Daily Breeze, the park site was formerly developed with a synthetic rubber production facility that has been linked to health problems experienced by residents in the surrounding area. Shell Oil and Dow Chemical, the former owners of the site, sold it to the L.A. Neighborhood Land Trust in 2015, after which point contaminated soil was removed.

View of Wishing Tree ParkLos Angeles County Parks & Recreation

In place of toxic soil, the park now provides amenities to those neighbors, including a chidlren's play area, futsal soccer courts, a baseball field, a basketball court, walking trails, and exercise equipment. It also includes a memorial plaza honoring community members who worked to transform the property into green space.

The name of the park also references the work of community members.

Wishing Tree Park siteGoogle Maps

"In anticipation of a future park, ficus trees were planted over a decade ago and lined the alleyway in 24[-inch] wooden boxes as a sign of what could be," reads a project description released by the L.A. Neighborhood Land Trust. "Over the years these trees would outgrow their boxes and plant their roots deep into the soil growing twenty times their intended size. One tree stood out to the girls and they started to write wishes on pieces of paper, placing them in the tree so that they would come true. They called it their 'Wishing Tree.' One of their wishes was having a beautiful park in their neighborhood where they could play."

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