Projects

UPDATED MARCH 31, 2022

Watts Rising is a collaborative of Watts residents, 40+ organizations, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, the Mayor's Office, and Council District 15 committed to improving the quality of life in Watts. In 2019, the Watts Rising Collaborative was awarded a $33.25 million Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Grant from the California's Strategic Growth Council (SGC), and additionally leveraged over $160 million to fund 24 community identified infrastructure projects.


Building upon decades of community leadership, academic research, community surveys and planning documents about Watts, residents defined and prioritized a suite of projects as well as community engagement, workforce development and displacement avoidance strategies. With continued, vibrant community input, leadership and participation, the Watts Rising Collaborative is implementing 24 infrastructure projects by 2024 that will: 1) expand urban agriculture and access to healthy organic produce; 2) provide more affordable and sustainable housing; 3) increase low- and no- carbon transportation options; 4) increase community green space and expand our tree canopy; and 5) make our streets safer for walking and biking.


See our list of projects below for an overview of each project and its implementing partner organization.

Expand urban agriculture and access to healthy, organic produce.

MUDTOWN FARMS FOOD WASTE DIVERSION

Project Overview: Establish a food waste prevention and food rescue program that will result in the redistribution of 200,000 lbs. of food to local Watts Residents, and will divert 250,000 lbs. of food waste from landfills each year.

Partners: WLCAC (Lead)


COMMUNITY GARDEN AT MARKHAM MIDDLE SCHOOL

Project Overview: Expansion and program support for Edwin Markham Middle School's one-acre garden to build the first in the nation school garden and living lab working with a cleantech incubator. Together, we are deploying several energy and water saving technologies, creating local green jobs, educating students and empowering the community on gardening and climate resiliency. Project plans also include distributing produce grown in the garden and distribution/planting of 100 shade trees.

Partners: Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (Lead), LAUSD


WATTS YARDNERS PROGRAM

Project Overview: 50 residential yards will be transformed into urban mini-farms complete with edible landscaping and fruit trees.

Partners: WLCAC (Lead)

Provide more affordable and sustainable housing.

JORDAN DOWNS PHASE S2

Project Overview: New construction of an 81-unit affordable housing development consisting of 18 one-bedroom units, 33 two-bedroom units, 29 three-bedroom units, and 1 four-bedroom unit. All the units will be deed restricted to households earning up to 50% of Area Median Income (AMI). In addition, the project will provide bicycle education and safety training for families and youth in the Jordan Downs housing development. East Side Riders, will be organizing classes, recruiting participants, and facilitating certifications. (See the B.E.A.S.T. project overview below for more info on Bicycle Education and Safety Training classes).

Partners: Michaels Development Co. (Lead), East Side Riders


SOLAR WATTS

Project Overview: Install rooftop solar panels on 54 qualifying single-family residences in Watts.

Partners: GRID Alternatives


ENERGY RETROFIT

Project Overview: Installation of energy retrofits for 180 homes in Watts. Retrofits include replacements for lighting, HVAC, water heater and more.

Partners: Habitat for Humanity

Increase low and no-carbon transportation.

DASH BUS ELECTRIFICATION

Project Overview: The DASH is going electric! The DASH Watts bus route will be improved with 10 battery-electric buses that will replace existing CNG/propane buses and add 5 charging stations to create the first fully electric local bus fleet in Los Angeles.

Partners: LA Department of Transportation (LADOT)


MEGAWATTS ELECTRIC VEHICLE CAR SHARE

Project Overview: Provide a car-sharing program using 15 all-electric vehicles available 24-hours/day with charging stations installed at three locations in Watts.

Partners: WLCAC, Green Commuter, Primestor

Increase community green space nd expand our tree canopy.

WEIGAND ELEMENTARY URBAN TREE/ RAIN GARDENS

Project Overview: A new 2400 sq. ft rain garden and 43 native trees will be planted around Weigand Elementary, and an additional 1500 fruit trees will be distributed to local community members

Partners: TreePeople, LAUSD


WATTS COOL SCHOOLS

Project Overview: Create four shadier, cooler school campuses by removing asphalt paving and installing cool paving, planting 112 trees, to create green educational outdoor learning areas at Weigand Elementary, Compton Ave. Elementary, 96th St. Elementary and 112th St. Elementary schools.

Partners: TreePeople (Lead) L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD)


GREENING THE BLUE LINE

Project Overview: Create a tree canopy in the mile radius surrounding the 103rd St. Station of the Metro Blue Line through the planting of 200 trees.

Partners: TreePeople (Lead), LA Metro


CENTURY GATEWAY PARK

Project Overview: Construct 0.62-acre urban park with local and drought tolerant plants, 35 new trees, and passive recreation.

Partners: The Michaels Organization (Lead)


FREEDOM TREE PARK

Project Overview: Construct 1-acre urban park with passive recreation, drought tolerant landscaping and irrigation, 35 new trees, and 95% of the park will be composed of permeable surfaces.

Partners: The Michaels Organization (Lead), Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles


GREENING PUBLIC HOUSING

Project Overview: Plant 200 large shade trees at three public housing sites: Gonzaque Village, Imperial Courts, and Nickerson Gardens.

Partners: North East Trees (Lead), Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles


GREENING WATTS

Project Overview: Plant 2,000 trees throughout Watts along streets, on school campuses, in parks and on residential properties.

Partners: TreePeople, North East Trees

Make our streets safer for walking and biking.

B.E.A.ST- BICYCLE EDUCATION AND SAFETY CLASSES

Project Overview: Implement a Bike Safety & Education Program.

Partners: East Side Riders


WILMINGTON AVE. GREAT STREETS

Project Overview: Construct ½ mile of urban greening and pedestrian/cyclist mobility improvements including 40 street trees.

Partners: Streets LA (Lead), Grant Housing EDC

WALKBIKE WATTS MOBILITY IMPROVEMENTS

Project Overview: Construction of 5.2 miles of bike lanes and installation of 25 pedestrian improvements.

Partners: City of LA- Department of Transportation (LADOT)


WALKBIKE WATTS SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL

Project Overview: We Care Outreach and Urban Peace Institute are working to make routes to school safer by providing services like student safety advocacy groups, walking school buses, and more.

Partners: We Care Outreach, Urban Peace Institute (UPI)


WALKBIKE WATTS CULTURAL TRAIL

Project Overview: Installation of an arts & cultural walking path through Watts. Accessible by foot, bicycle, or wheelchair, the Cultural Trail will connect the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus to public transportation and other local sites.

Partners: Streets LA (Lead), City of LA- Department of Cultural Affairs

Displacement Avoidance Plan (DAP)

Watts Rising is implementing the DAP to ensure that benefits created by TCC are enjoyed by the current Watts residents whose tireless advocacy, vision, and perseverance contributed to the realization of this and other community investment grants. Watts Rising is connecting renters, homeowners, and businesses to resources that can reduce household expenses, increase income and business profitability, increase housing access and security, and build wealth in order to help them “Stay Rooted” in their community.

Interested in taking part in a Watts Rising project?

Visit our GET INVOLVED page to learn more about how you can take part in Watts Rising programs and services like free energy efficiency upgrades, tree plantings, and more!