History of Recreation and Parks
From a modest pueblo in the 18th Century, to a dominant economic and cultural force at the turn of the 21st Century, Los Angeles has traveled an accelerated road of expansion. Following is a brief look at how the Department of Recreation and Parks helped shape the City of Los Angeles. The history of the Department of Recreation and Parks is rich and diverse-stemming from the early days of Los Angeles. Colonel Felipe de Neve, Governor of the Spanish province of Alta California, officially founded Los Angeles on September 4, 1781 and created the Plaza in the center of the city. The settlers, of Spanish, Indian, and African ancestry, gave their little pueblo a big name "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles," which means "The Town of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels." The Plaza became the first small unit in the original park system of Los Angeles, currently its own Department known as El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. The City was incorporated on April 4, 1850. At first, city government in Los Angeles was based on the Act of Incorporation, which applied to all cities in the state. Then in the 1880's the population grew fivefold. Under continued pressure for more governmental services, citizens formed a Board of Freeholders to frame a home rule charter, which was responsive to the needs of the rapidly expanding community. The resultant Charter received final state approval in early 1889. From humble beginnings, City Council created the Department of Parks in 1889. At that time the city owned several pieces of land that were believed suitable for park purposes. They turned over these properties to the newly-organized Department of Parks. In a generous mood during Christmas of 1896, Colonel Griffith J. Griffith offered to donate five square miles of the Los Feliz Rancho to the City as a park. He said, "it must be made a place of recreation and rest for the masses, a resort for the rank and file, for the plain people..." What followed was the development of several more parks including the original pueblo lands of the old plaza, Elysian Park, Pershing Square, and later Lincoln Park, MacArthur Park, Echo Lake Park, and Hollenbeck Park. While these parks were available in the early years of the 20th century, there were no planned and supervised recreation activities in the parks. Children were forced to find their play on public streets and vacant lots that were hardly suited for organized games.
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History of Los Angels recreations
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Zdroje: Los Angels page