El Cariso Park


Sylmar, California


County of Los Angeles




El Cariso Community Park was transformed from an 80 acre passive turf and tree park into a place for a diverse range of activities for the citizens of Los Angeles County. Its new state-of-the-art fields encourage participation in active recreational experiences including soccer, football, and handball and the universally accessible playground provides for the previously unmet needs of children with disabilities who wish to partake in these recreational activities.

The park also promotes health and wellness with wide walking paths to accommodate many. The already extensive paths were lengthened and made barrier-free for all to enjoy, providing strolling access within the park and to nature. Park benches and rest stations offer places to relax under the shade of eucalyptus trees. The sensory garden labyrinth encourages lingering in natural surroundings, stimulates curiosity and appeals to all the senses. These areas also invite butterflies and birds to visit and provide habitat in the form of diverse plantings and ecological richness.

The enhancements also meet the needs of those who simply want a safe and attractive place to enjoy unstructured family recreation. Group and individual picnic spaces encourage community and family time. The new concession area, surrounded by attractive spaces for eating, conveniently overlooks the field and the all accessible play area, fostering and building social connections.
The site hosts sport leagues, youth and after-school programs, community activities and special events which bring the greater community together to increase cultural unity and foster human connections.