A year and a half after our last update, work continues for a new park on a former brownfield site in the unincorporated community of West Carson.

View from New Hampshire AvenueUrbanize LA

Wishing Tree Park, which is being built by the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, spans approximately eight acres of land to the west of Vermont Avenue's intersection with Del Amo Boulevard. The various components of the project include:

  • a picnic area;
  • a basketball court;
  • two futsal courts;
  • a baseball field;
  • a walking path;
  • 233 new trees;
  • a hardscape plaza and;
  • a parking lot.

The more than $15-million project is named Wishing Tree Park in honor of two sisters who live in the surrounding community, and were instrumental in the development of the park.

View from Budlong StreetUrbanize LA

"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 non-profit organization. "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."

According to the Daily Breeze, Wishing Tree Park is rising on a site which was once part of a synthetic rubber production facility. Years after the plant had closed, and the future park property had been developed with housing, widespread health problems experienced by residents were attributed to the former industrial use. This led to the purchase of the land by Shell Oil and Dow Chemical, which would eventually sell the property to the L.A. Neighborhood Land Trust in 2015, after which point contaminated soil was removed from the site.

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