Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In

El Monte’s secluded Zamora Park is set for nearly $8.4 million in updates come the end of 2022. That’s when work starts on a new playground, circuit trails, exercise equipment, planting a hundred or so trees, and the centerpiece - a splash pad.

Zamora Park is hemmed in by the 10 and 605 freeways, Ramona Boulevard, and a shopping center around the Longo Toyota dealership. The nearest park you can walk or bike to without crossing freeway on ramps is Lambert Park (about a mile away, off busy Peck Road).

The renovation project at Zamora is part of First 5 L.A.’s pilot program ‘Link’ aka Link Government, Advocates, Families and Parks. The program links municipalities in First 5 L.A.’s ‘Best Start Communities’ for investment – “14 geographic areas that have faced historic disenfranchisement and oppression” – to park funds from Measure A and Prop. 68 by assisting them with grant writing.

First 5 L.A. spokesperson Katie Kurutz tells Streetsblog “What happens is when large amounts of money become available, it's the communities that have the capacity that get the money, and usually those are the higher income communities.” she says, referring to cities with in-house grant writers. “So it's really an equity issue.”

The park’s developer, The Trust for Public Land, says the goal is creating access to green space within a ten minute walk for families in El Monte’s Hayes neighborhood (once home to a labor camp during segregation). “We know that children of all ages learn better, sleep better, are better able to deal with stress and anxiety when they have access to open space,” says TPL Program Director Robin Mark, referring to a study by Unicef.

Of course, this green space already exists, but Mark says while doing community outreach with Active SGV, many locals told them they don’t feel safe at Zamora Park. Besides getting more people and more lighting into the park, Mark says it’s critical to open it up more.

“We're going to take down some of the fencing that sort of creates barriers and makes it feel like you've got multiple parks in one location,” says Mark, referring to the gates surrounding the picnic area.

“We're also going to provide a new restroom building and kind of rethink about the spacing of how the park is laid out,” Mark adds, noting that the current restroom blocks a clear view through the park.

Mark also tells Streetsblog that The Trust for Public Land will work with Active SGV on redeveloping the defunct six acre Norwood Elementary School campus into a green space.

Zamora Park’s renovations are expected to be finished by late 2023.

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Sign-up for our SGV Connect Newsletter, coming to your inbox on Fridays!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Port Lobbyists Trying to Kill Bike and Pedestrian Safety in Oakland

Trucking/port lobbyists want to destroy a long-established plan to build protected bike lanes connecting Jack London Square, West Oakland, and downtown

July 12, 2024

Friday Video: Take a Spin on Boston’s Electric Cargo Bike Share

Can't afford a $7,000 Urban Arrow cargo e-bike ? In Boston, you can now rent one for just a few bucks.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

5 recommendations for high-speed rail; Caltrans, stop building new freeway lanes already; "Data bikes" can collect information about bike path conditions; More

July 12, 2024

Next Week: Active Transportation Program Workshop

The good news is that there will be a Cycle 7. But it will be small, and there will be hard choices about what gets funded.

July 11, 2024

Metro and Caltrans Still Planning 605 Expansion, Plus Four Connecting Freeways

Metro and Caltrans are planning to spend billions of dollars widening the 605, 5, 10, 60 and 105 Freeways. Really.

July 11, 2024
See all posts