Plans to reopen the Chatsworth Park South gymnasium will be revealed today. The park was closed on Valentine's Day 2008 after lead and other contaminants were discovered in the soil.
Councilman Mitch Englander will be joined at a news conference by Jon Kirk Mukri, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Mike DeYoung from the U.S. Quad Rugby Association, members of Chatsworth Neighborhood Council, and community members.
The U.S. Quad Rugby Association, whose members had used the gymnasium for many years for their wheelchair rugby games and practices, were displaced when the park was closed. In order to ensure that the wheelchair rugby teams can resume their practices and games at the gymnasium, Englander pledged to cover part of the cost of their usage fees. DeYoung will announce their schedule of games at the gymnasium.
The 2013 City Recreation and Parks sports programs and activities, and the availability of the gymnasium by permit for public use, will also be announced.
Chatsworth Park South was closed on Valentine’s Day 2008 after lead and other contaminants were discovered in the soil. The contaminants came from lead pellets and clay pigeon fragments left behind from when the property was used as a skeet shooting range in the 1960s. The city purchased it and turned it into a public park in 1978.
The Department of Recreation and Parks and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) entered into a voluntary clean-up agreement, and the City began work with contractors on the assessment and clean-up process, which is ongoing.
Englander has worked with DTSC and Recreation and Parks to ensure the clean-up moves forward as quickly as possible so the public can safely use and enjoy the park again. He intervened very shortly after the closure to have the Chatsworth Historical Society’s Museum and the cultural-historical monument Homestead Acre and Minnie Palmer Cottage examined and then re-opened for the public once it was found to safe and free of contamination.
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