With sounds of children playing and youth chanting “Whose House? Rams House”, Ramona Gardens residents welcomed the opening of a new playground at Henry Alvarez Memorial Park during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s so important to have spaces like this where kids like me can come together with our friends and just have fun,” said Emmanuel Cruz, a resident of the housing development who cut the ribbon at the ceremony. “I’m proud to be from Ramona Gardens because of the people who put so much care into it.”

Hundreds attended the opening of the playground funded through a collaboration between LA Rams Head Coach Sean McVay, the LA84 Foundation, the Play Equity Fund, the Steinmetz Foundation and Legacy LA. Representatives from all organizations were present at the ceremony, including Rams tight end Roger Carter Jr., linebacker Jake Hummel and mascot Rampage.

Youth of all ages engaged in fun activities during the event, from playing basketball alongside Rampage the Ram to participating in an inflatable NFL Play 60-style camp featuring a 40-yard dash, football free-play, tackling dummies and more. Attendees at the event also enjoyed free food, refreshments and gear from the Rams including footballs, soccer balls, racquet sets, jump ropes, skateboards and team merchandise.

Known by locals as “La Loma”, the park was abandoned and neglected for many years before community members and organizations came together and began a plan to transform the space into a welcoming and safe environment for the youth of Ramona Gardens. The project began with various cleanups and the opening of a renovated basketball court in 2021.

“This new playground equipment transforms Ramona Gardens’ recreation area into a vibrant community space, and it provides kids with a safe place to play for the healthy movement that’s crucial to every childhood,” said Renata Simril, President & CEO of the LA84 Foundation and President of the Play Equity Fund. “It is a tribute to the power of collaboration, and will help kids and families make memories that last a lifetime.”

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Alex Medina

Alex Medina is a graduate of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School and 2018 alumnus of the Boyle Heights Beat. He is a recent graduate of Hamilton College in Central New York where he majored in Hispanic...

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