PALMDALE — It may not seem like an im­por­tant feature on a chilly Jan­uary morning, but the shade structures soon to grace picnic areas in Yel­len Park will be great­ly appreciated in the com­ing months.

Local officials and com­mu­nity members, in­clu­ding the furry four-legged variety, came to­geth­er Friday morning to celebrate the start of in­stal­lation for a half-dozen shade structures at Palm­dale’s newest park.

“This truly is a special day for me, for the res­i­dents of Palmdale and the residents of District Four,” Mayor Pro Tem Juan Carrillo said. “Today, we’re going to make that (park) ex­per­ience much more pleas­ant by pro­vi­ding shady areas for them to enjoy their park ex­peri­ence.”

Carrillo represents Dis­trict Four and has been a “relentless” supporter of the park at Avenue S and 52nd Street East, Mayor Steve Hofbauer said.

“Parks make life better. It’s really something we believe in and we make it work every day,” Hofbauer said. “It’s amaz­ing how something so simple as a shade structure can make such a huge difference.”

The shade structures are funded through Los An­gel­es County Prop. A funds, voter-approved property taxes set aside for parks.

Carrillo thanked Los An­geles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger for her help in securing the $128,000 grant funds used to pay for the 15-foot by 20-foot shade structures and installation.

“She found some money for us,” he said.

In 2001 the Yellen family donated approximately 25 acres to the city for con­struc­tion of a park or pub­lic recreation facility named in memory of Sam­uel Yellen, who farmed the area from the 1930s until 1950 first pears, then al­fal­fa and vegetables. The fam­ily also donated 12 acres to the Palmdale School District, which built the adjacent Yellen School.

Yellen Park opened in June 2017, with an ad­ven­ture playground, mul­ti­purpose turf field, exer­cise equip­ment and a much-re­quested and very pop­u­lar off-leash dog park.

Rounding out the feat­ures in the park’s first phase are the six shade struc­tures, four over picnic tables near the playground and two more covering tables by the dog park.

Installation of the solid metal structures begins Mon­day and all are ex­pect­ed to be in place by the end of January, Public Works Di­rector Chuck Heffernan said.

“It’s going to make a huge difference in our com­mu­nity,” Councilman Aus­tin Bishop said.

The shade structures are but one improvement to local parks funded through Prop. A, said Charles F. Bost­wick, assistant field dep­uty for Barger.

“Prop. A has made a big dif­fer­ence in parks and rec­re­a­tional facilities in the AV,” he said, amounting to some $33 million over the past 25 years.

In Palmdale, projects have included acquiring land for the Barrel Springs trail, developing Pelona Vista and Domenic Massari parks and rehabbing the Mc­Adam Park pool.

The property tax funds also are being used for re­fur­bishment of the play­grounds at Manzanita, Dom­en­ic Massari and Marie Kerr parks to make them accessible to all park vis­it­ors. Those projects are ex­pect­ed to be completed be­fore this summer, Palm­dale officials said.

Elsewhere, facilities fund­ed through Prop. A in­clude the Lancaster Soccer Center, expansion of the Prime Desert Woodlands and rehabbing Lancaster’s Eastside Pool.

Additionally, the fund has been used to expand Vasq­uez Rocks and Devils Punch­bowl county natural areas, build a park and gymnasium in Lake Los Angeles and gymnasium in Sun Village.

Most recently, Prop. A funds have been set aside to expand the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, Bostwick said.

To share your opinion on this article or any other article, write a letter to the editor and email it to editor@avpress.com or mail it to Letters to Editor, PO Box 4050, Palmdale CA 93590-4050.

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