April 23, 2013: Ten women who call themselves Trinity Mothers For Action were honored last week, at left, by Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry for reclaiming Trinity Park -- a public piece of land that, according to CrimeMapping.com, was within a mile of 900 crimes committed in a six-month period between July '11 and January '12. One of many city parks that has been consistently threatened with closures due to budget cuts, in 2012, Trinity lost its funding for programs. That's when the women -- Irma Avila, Blanca Marquez, Brenda Montez, Yazmin Millan, Angelina Villegas, Libia Mazas, Nelida Maldonado, Maria Silva, Alejandra Altamirano and Maria Alvarez -- began, with a grant from Best Start Metro Los Angeles -- a First 5LA program.
Working with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, El Santo Nino Community Center, and the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department, the women completed a safety assessment and began to organize activities and children's programming. With the nonprofit Jubilee Consortium, they helped establish seven hours of programming each week. Programs include fitness, jazz, Zumba and ballet classes.
"People feel safe," Trinty Mothers for Action member Irma Avila says of the park today. "You see more families that are present at the park. The parents feel really proud. They feel like they rescued the park. I think they realize the power they have as community members to make a change in the community. It wasn't the police department that came in and cleaned up the park."
Trinity Park, above, in one one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city (23rd Street, off Adams Blvd.), has one of LA's highest concentrations of children under the age of 18, according to Councilwoman Perry.