By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners of the city of Los Angeles met virtually on Thursday, July 15, to discuss amended agreements that included revised recognition signage at the Veterans Garden project, developed by Your Palisades Park Improvement Corporation.
Senior management analyst Joel Alvarez explained that the now-completed project at Palisades Recreation Center consists of the installation of outdoor “living rooms” with independent panels recognizing the five branches of the United States military, donor recognition panels, a flag pole monument, bocce courts, a picnic area and more.
President Sylvia Patsaouras reported the military panels and donor recognition plaques were previously installed before final approval, and the military panels have since been removed while the board revisited the proposal. One of the recommendations in the report was to approve the proposed list of donors on the panels, which is slated to be in place for 30 years.
“This report states that we are approving the proposed list of donors … that means we are approving the final product,” Patsaouras said. “It doesn’t matter who else contributes, they cannot just keep changing the panel … if we do approve this project, we’re accepting it as it is.”
Vice President Lynn Alvarez expressed opposition to the recognition signage.
“What we say on plaques matters, what it signals to the community and the patrons of the park matters,” Alvarez said. “Who we honor on our public lands matter.”
Alvarez explained that she is in support of the five military panels, but not the plaques that are attached to the panels. She said there was miscommunication in the past two years that has sparked a discussion about who is represented and honored in public lands.
Patsaouras said the matter requires further discussion and the panels honoring the military branches need to be revised to reflect what was previously approved. A motion was moved to approve the project with amendments to the report regarding the recognition signage, which will be revisited in a future meeting.
“Our intention is to have the military panels proudly honor these distinguished veterans from our community whose families have so generously contributed to Veterans Gardens,” project founder Jimmy Dunne said. “We’re working with Parks and Recreation to include a QR code on each military panel that will open a webpage and video that celebrates the extraordinary, selfless and courageous lives of our honorees.”
Part of the Veterans Gardens is a set of bocce courts, which currently has three leagues—Senior, Palisades and Family—playing throughout the summer.
Commissioner and Palisadian Joe Halper said he has been following the project with anticipation, especially the bocce courts.
“The Pacific Palisades community is in the 94th percentile of aging in the United States,” he said in an email to the Palisadian-Post. “The inclusion of bocce as an activity at this park is welcome and a most appropriate addition to the recreational opportunities at this park.”
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