First 5 LA and Best Start celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Avalon and Gage tot park for children and families in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 3.

The 1/3-acre park, which will be completed in October, will feature play equipment focused on helping to improve children’s motor skills, social play and sensory development.

“The playground area will also have a sweet and sour garden to help small children learn about living organisms and plants,” said Mike Kim, project manager for the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, the contractor for the park. “The concrete seat walls will have colored tiles to teach children about different textures and primary colors.”

There will also be plenty of shade and seating for rest. The park is being built on a former median where people waited for the bus.

The Tot Parks and Trails program is a $10 million investment by First 5 LA to create sustainable change by increasing physical activity and promoting healthy lifestyles for children 0-5 and their families. Covering 23 cities and neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County, First 5 LA funds will support 33 projects including 16 in Best Start communities.

Additional support for the park came from the city of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and several other agencies and institutions, including Wells Fargo and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation.

The Avalon and Gage park is located near the Best Start communities of West Athens and Broadway-Manchester.

“These areas are green-space starved,” said Natasha Moise, Best Start program officer. “We have a commitment to community places and spaces, so it’s important because we’re helping the community transform innovative spaces – like this median – to promote healthy, active lifestyles for the community and their families.”