Projects

UPDATED APRIL 2, 2020

The Watts Rising initiative will implement 24 community-identified infrastructure projects by April 2022 that will expand urban agriculture and access to healthy organic produce, provide more affordable and sustainable housing, increase low- and no- carbon transportation options, increase community green space and expand our tree canopy, and 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.

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!

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), From Lot to Spot, Community Healing Gardens, Food Forward

Update: WLCAC has surpassed their initial goals and have distributed 300,000 lbs of food to Watts residents in the last year alone with their food waste prevention and food rescue programs. Plans continue to hold a grand opening to Mudtown farms in the next few months.

Visit the market for free produce every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at the WLCAC. Sign up for tickets at 10AM to join the market from 12-1:30PM at WLCAC, 10950 S Central Ave. Contact Ava Post, apost@wlcac.org for more info.


COMMUNITY GARDEN AT MARKHAM MIDDLE SCHOOL

Project Overview: Expansion and program support for Edwin Markham Middle School's one-acre garden building the first in the nation school garden and living lab working with a clean tech incubator. Together we are deploying several energy and water saving technologies, creating local green jobs, educating students and empowering the community on gardening, climate resiliency as well as growing, distributing produce grown and 100 shade trees.

Partners: Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (Lead), Community Healing Gardens, Partnership for LA Schools, LAUSD

Update: Edwin Markham Middle School’s "Watts Healing Tech Garden" has sprouted! Since April of 2019 we have had several student and community led events, garden volunteer days, garden tours, hired 4 local high school students to work with us as part of a paid intern training garden program and grown, harvested and distributed over 2,000 lbs. of produce.

Visit our CHG program page for more information as well as upcoming garden days of service, composting workshops, garden tours, and food distribution days. Even now through COVID -19 we are utilizing best practices during this time while growing and distributing in Watts much needed produce from the garden. Contact us at info@communityhealinggardens.org


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), Community Healing Gardens, From Lot to Spot, TreePeople

Update: WLCAC is accepting applications for residents interested in the program. See our GET INVOLVED! page for more information on how to get a farm in your yard.

JORDAN DOWNS PHASE 1B (Leverage Project)

Project Overview: Build 135 affordable multiple family housing units and transportation facilities along extension of Century Blvd including planting 300 trees.

Partners: Michaels Development Company

Update: The 135 units are currently under construction with completion planned for late 2020.


JORDAN DOWNS PHASE S2

Project Overview: Build new 81-unit affordable apartment community including planting 25 trees. Implement a Bike Safety and Education Program for residents of Watts. (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

Update: As part of the the redevelopment of the larger Jordan Downs housing complex, this phase is slated for completion in early 2022.


FREEDOM PLAZA RETAIL CENTER (Leverage Project)

Project Overview: Construction of 31,299 sq. ft. grocery store offering fresh fruits and vegetables and planting 80 trees.

Partners: Primestor

Update: The first stores at Freedom Plaza are now open! Smart & Final, Ross Dress for Less, Blink Fitness and Bright Now Dental are now open for business with Nike and The Habit scheduled to open in April. Starbucks has commenced construction on their building and anticipate opening mid-summer. Stay tuned for information on the Freedom Plaza Grand Opening celebration and Mural Unveiling Ceremony happening in the coming months.


SOLAR WATTS

Project Overview: Install rooftop solar panels on over 50 qualifying single-family residences in Watts.

Partners: Restore Neighborhoods L.A. (RNLA)(Lead), Pick My Solar, GRID Alternatives, Build it Green

Update: The first solar installs have begun providing Watts homeowners access to lower energy bills. Find out if you qualify for free solar panels on your home by visiting solarwatts.org


ENERGY RETROFIT

Project Overview: Provide energy efficient improvements and home retrofits for 300 single-family residences in Watts.

Partners: Restore Neighborhoods L.A. (RNLA) (Lead), Habitat for Humanity

Update: The program is now accepting applications for homes interested in free energy efficiency upgrades. Visit our GET INVOLVED! page to learn more about the program and see if your home qualifies.



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 a fully electric local bus line.

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 at three locations in Watts.

Partners: WLCAC,Green Commuter, Primestor

Update: Watt’s own electric vehicle car-sharing program is en route to bring 15 electric vehicles and 3 charging stations to the area. Charging stations have been installed at the new Freedom Tree Retail Plaza while Watts students learn more about electric vehicles at an upcoming El Camino College course.


WEIGAND ELEMENTARY URBAN TREE/ RAIN GARDENS

Project Overview: A new rain garden and hundreds of new trees and plants will be coming to Weigand Elementary with 450 native plants, 43 native trees, and 2,400 sq. ft. of pervious rain gardens to capture storm water.

Partners: From Lot to Spot (Lead), StreetsLA, LAUSD

Update: The project is currently in the planning and permitting process. Join our newsletter for updates on upcoming opportunities to adopt a tree at Weigand.


WATTS COOL SCHOOLS

Project Overview: Create four shadier, cooler school campuses by removing asphalt paving, planting 112 trees, creating green educational outdoor learning areas and laying down cool paving.

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

Update: Four elementary schools across Watts are about to get a whole lot cooler! Plans are in development to replace asphalt with cool pavement and plant 100+ new trees to create cooler outdoor temperatures at Weigand Elementary, 96th Street Elementary, Compton Elementary, and 112th Street Elementary.


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

Update: Plans are underway as TreePeople coordinates with Metro and LADOT to create a tree canopy around the Metro Watts Towers/103rd St. A Line Station (formerly the Blue Line).The project will bring more shade to those walking to and from the station with the addition of 200 new trees.


CENTURY GATEWAY PARK

Project Overview: Construct 0.62-acre urban park with passive recreation and natural infrastructure including planting 35 trees.

Partners: BRIDGE Housing (Lead), From Lot to Spot

Update: Design development is due to begin in 2020 for a new 0.62 acre park as part of the redevelopment of the Jordan Downs housing complex.


FREEDOM TREE PARK

Project Overview: Construct 1-acre urban park with passive recreation and natural infrastructure including planting 35 trees.

Partners: Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (Lead), Michaels Development Co, From Lot to Spot

Update: The project is currently wrapping up the design process and moving through the permitting phase.


GREENING PUBLIC HOUSING

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

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

Update: Keep an eye out for upcoming volunteer tree planting events and crew position openings on this website as planting begins in the next few months.


GREENING WATTS

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

Partners: TreePeople (Lead), North East Trees

Update: The program is in the process of identifying sites for planting. Northeast Trees and TreePeople will also be distributing 800 trees to residents to plant on their property. Visit our GET INVOLVED! page for more info on how to participate.


103RD STREET URBAN TREES/RAIN GARDEN (Leverage Project)

Project Overview: Plant 600 native plants, 50 native trees and 2800 sq. ft. of pervious rain gardens to capture storm water.

Partners: From Lot to Spot

Update: New parkway rain gardens on 103rd St will bring hundreds of new plants and 50 new trees to naturally capture rain water, increase pervious surface, shade our streets, and sequester greenhouse gases.


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

Project Overview: Implement a Bike Safety & Education Program.

Partners: East Side Riders

Update: East Side Riders will be offering Bicycle Education and Safety Training (B.E.A.S.T) classes for kids and adults to learn more about bike safety. Keep an eye out for upcoming classes and rides on our EVENTS page or visit www.esrbc.org for more info.


WILMINGTON AVE. GREAT STREETS

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

Partners: Grant Housing EDC (Lead), W/CLO

Update: Pedestrian and bicycle improvements are in development to transform a 1/2 mile of Wilmington Ave and plant 40 new street trees.


CENTURY BLVD. COMPLETE STREETS (Leverage Project)

Project Overview: Construction of new 1/2-mile green/complete street from Grape Street to Alameda Street with bike lanes and planting 155 trees.

Partners: City of LA- StreetsLA

Update: The project is currently in the planning and design phase.


SUCCESS AVENUE GREEN STREET (Leverage Project)

Project Overview: Trees, storm water treatment features, and pedestrian improvements will be installed along Success Ave adjacent to Gonzaque Village.

Partners: Grant HEDC

Update: The project is currently in the planning phase.


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)

Update: LADOT is currently designing two new traffic signals, left-turn phasing, and flashing beacons at ten intersections. Also being evaluated are five miles of bicycle lanes. Design is also beginning for pedestrian improvements such as curb extensions and curb ramp improvements throughout the Watts area.


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)

Update: Visit our EVENTS page for more information on how to join the Watts Rising weekly walking club and monthly school safety collaborative meetings.


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: City of LA- Department of Cultural Affairs

Update: The City of LA Department of Cultural Affairs is kicking off the planning process for the Watts Rising Cultural Trail and is currently bringing on a Project Manager to help lead the process.



103RD STREET STREETSCAPE (Leverage Project)

Project Overview: Streetscape, transit and pedestrian improvements for 0.4 miles from Grape Street to Weigand Avenue including planting 50 trees.

Partners: City of LA- StreetsLA

Update: Planning is underway for several streetscape improvements along 103rd St from Grape St to Weigand Ave.


CENTRAL AVENUE STREETSCAPE (Leverage Project)

Project Overview: Streetscape, transit, and pedestrian improvements for 0.25 mile from 103rd Street to Imperial Highway including planting 81 trees. The project consists of transit and pedestrian improvements at bus facilities, as well as tree plantings, sidewalks, and median islands.

Partners: City of LA- StreetsLA , Grant HEDC

Update: Streetscape improvements on Central Ave from 101st to 114th are planned to be completed by September 2021.