Category: Community Involvement

STEM Students Design Hollywood Central Park in a Unique Contest

May 27, 2015 lacarguy Community Involvement, Green Articles, Hollywood Central Park, LAcarGUY News & Events, Toyota of Hollywood Tags: , , , , ,


The Friends of Hollywood Central Park partnered with the Stem Academy of Hollywood back in September and gave students a chance to give their input about crucial park design characteristics. Now the students are being given another chance to try out their design skills in a real-world situation in a fun little contest that’s being put together around the Hollywood Central Park.

Hollywood Central Park Rendering

The Contest

In the contest a set of three different student teams are commissioned with coming up with their own designs for the Hollywood Central Park project. Each team is supposed to be acting as a competing engineering firm competing for the project. The students will put together their own designs and present them before a judge to determine the final winner.

The Details

The contest took place at the Stem Academy of Hollywood at 1309 N Wilton Place in Los Angeles. It occurred yesterday between 4 and 5 PM to a crowded room full of interested guests.

During the event snacks and refreshments were provided as each of the teams presented their creation. The guest judges were charged with making a final decision and picking the best team design overall. Each design was highly unique and had something special to offer.

Not only did the whole event give the students an exciting real-life event to design for, but the designs will provide new ideas for the park and some may even be incorporated into the finished project. If you are interested in coming up with your own park concepts there is a Hollywood Central Park application that allows you to design your own version of the new park. You can make use of the designer tool or keep an eye on new developments surrounding the park project by visiting the Hollywood Central Park website here. The tool features a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows you to quickly customize your own creation. After you finish your creation you can easily save it, share it with friends and family or share it with the project itself for consideration. The contest will help the Friends of Hollywood Central Park get some new ideas and so will the unique park creator tool that is being opened up to so many users around the web.

Learn How You Can Create Your Own Hollywood Central Park Design

May 5, 2015 lacarguy Hollywood Central Park Tags: , , , ,

Cap parks are an effective way to take back some of the city space that freeways use up around the world. Not only do freeways divide cities, but they further pollution problems and use up a large amount of space without solving many traffic issues. Cap parks essentially put a raised deck or platform on top of a section of freeway to turn the location into usable space, and that’s exactly what’s planned for the Hollywood Central Park. This mile-long park will create 38 acres of usable natural space while uniting together surrounding neighborhoods. The park is one of five different planned cap parks for Southern California, and will help Hollywood residents enjoy more fun out in nature.

design hollywood central park

Creating the Park

Luckily the Hollywood Freeway was built down in a trench in order to make it straight and flat. Since it sits down in a trench it can be capped over while creating a platform that is level with the surrounding area. Not only will this help isolate residents from nearby traffic noise, but it gives them a place to go and spend time. The location will fill with park space, public venues and will likely turn into a fun location for public events.

It’s fun to take a look at all the park designs and plans put together by other people, but wouldn’t you rather have a say about what happens with the park? Now you can Design Your Own Park, using the designer tool here. Open up the map of the park and easily drag and drop different elements to where you think they should be. Use the tool to come up with your own unique creation and maybe the leaders behind the new construction will take your ideas into consideration. Who knows, your creation could inspire final sections of the new park and end up showing up there in real life.

The Hollywood Central Park is still a work in progress and the non-profit Friends of the Hollywood Central Park are still working to secure the funding needed to get the job done. For more updates about the project you can learn more by visiting 

The 10 Street Strategy Project Was a Major Success

April 29, 2015 lacarguy Hollywood Central Park

As the first real effort to bring the benefits of the Hollywood Central Park to the Hollywood Area, the Los Angeles Beautification Team and the Friends of the Hollywood Central Park teamed up for the 10 Street Strategy Project. The goal of the project was to plant a total of 540 trees over an expanse of 10 different streets adjacent to the proposed site of Hollywood Central Park. That project was a complete success and every one of the 540 trees has been planted thanks to the determination of Sharyn Romano – the head of the LA Beautification Team, and all the effort put in by the two organizations.

10 street strategy

Hard work helped them land a grant to cover the cost of the trees from Caltrans, and now local Hollywood citizens can start to see the benefits of nature being brought into the city and a thick urban forest will slowly sprout up and grow over the years.

Benefits of Urban Forests

There are numerous benefits to Urban Forests and together they make a strong case for taking the time to plant as many trees as possible. The brand new forest will help filter air and water. It will offer shelter to animals and give the locals a recreational area to get in touch with nature. Not only do the trees make the local environment more beautiful, but they also help moderate the weather a bit better as well. They offer shade that will help with cooling on hot days and reduce the number of unhealthy ozone days that major cities deal with in the summer. They also help break up wind and help create a more moderate environment for everyone to enjoy.

Enjoy Cleaner Air

Trees help take pollution out of the air and sequester carbon to keep it out of the atmosphere. They lower temperatures and emissions in parking lots while also intercepting harmful particulate matter that would be floating around in the air and breathed in throughout the day otherwise.

Cap Parks are Improving the Urban Landscape in America

April 28, 2015 lacarguy Hollywood Central Park Tags: , , ,

One of the biggest issues that cities face is a lack of natural vegetation. This lack of trees and plants leads to higher levels of air pollution as well as higher wind levels and even increased summertime temperatures. Each of these issues makes city life a bit harder, but putting a large park into the environment helps reduce them noticeably.

freeway park seattle
Freeway Park in Seattle. One of the oldest cap parks in America.

What is a Cap Park?

This is what cap parks are known for and why they are becoming so popular. Freeways run through trenches much of the time that they are build. This means it’s possible to put a top or cap over them and then build on that. Many cities rely on this advantage to produce parks or other natural areas that citizens can enjoy. The freeway doesn’t change much and the city benefits dramatically from the change. Of course it’s a massive undertaking to cap a freeway, but for many people it’s worth it.

There are a total of 162 different cap parks in the USA alone and there are even more in places like Europe and Asia. The very first of these parks was put together in Seattle Washington, and the most recent was built in Dallas Texas. Five such parks are being considered for Southern California.

Connecting Communities

One side-effect of freeways is that they segment cities. Even with bridges making travel back and forth across a freeway possible, the large highway still keeps many people from visiting the other side of hteir city. The main issue here is that there is just too much traffic over the small cluster of bridges going back and forth. Parks can connect both sides of the community in a more cohesive way that will often cut down on traffic, or at the very least make it possible to move back and forth through walking or biking, something that wouldn’t have happened before. This opens up the community more and connects the two segmented sides into one location again.

Blotting out Noise

Anyone who’s stood by a freeway for any stretch of time knows how noisy they can be. With vehicles traveling back and forth constantly there is a never-ending stream of noise that you have to deal with. One major benefit of a cap park is that much of that noise is blotted out, at least in the small area the park is constructed in. Through careful placement, major residential districts can be improved by these parks, making them much quieter and more enjoyable to be in.

Raise Property Values

Another side effect of cap parks is that they raise property values of the buildings that are located near them. Nobody wants to live next to a noisy freeway, but who wouldn’t want to live across the street from a lush park that always seems to have something going on? This means that property values nearing the parks will shoot up dramatically, giving owners something to look forward to.

The Hollywood Central Park is a proposed cap park that could bring with it many of these benefits. It’s an exciting idea that’s quickly gaining support by locals.



An Overview of the 10 Street Strategy

April 26, 2015 lacarguy Hollywood Central Park, Uncategorized

The Friends of Hollywood Central Park and the Los Angeles Beautification Team recently got together and began planning a tree planting initiative. They dubbed it the 10 Street Strategy Project and committed to putting huge number of trees into the Hollywood community over a 10-street expanse. The initiative would help bring more nature to the area and serve as a nice accent for the Hollywood Central Park project by running adjacent to it.

10 street strategy

Project Details

The trees run along the roads listed below. The project is split into several clusters that border a variety of different environments. Busy streets, restaurants, and a park will all benefit from the improved appearance that the trees provide.

  • Virginia Ave
  • Fountain Ave
  • Western Ave
  • Van Ness Ave
  • De LongPre Ave
  • Fernwood Ave
  • NHorth Bronson Ave
  • Carlton Way
  • Hafold Way
  • La Mirada Ave

Improved Looks and Secluded Feel

By adding all these new trees to the area the city will take on a more secluded and natural look. It will seem less crowded and will give people more greenery to look at as they travel throughout the day. Also by putting the trees in a position that borders the Hollywood Central Park project the companies can help draw more attention to the park project and accent the project nicely letting people know they are approaching the site.

The project will be a major undertaking, but with help from a local grant it shouldn’t cost the two organizations much money, just lots of manpower. The overall project hopes to add a total of 540 trees to the Hollywood area, and all the benefits that come along with the equivalent of a small forest. When successful the plans will show that large-scale improvements are possible in the Hollywood area and will provide hope that the Hollywood Central Park project can also be successful.

Oaks Elementary is Victorious in the 2015 Trash Free Lunch Challenge

April 23, 2015 lacarguy Grades of Green, Green Articles Tags: , , ,

A total of 24 different schools went up against one another in the 2015 Grades of Green Trash Free Lunch Challenge. Each school around the country was battling to see who could divert the most trash from their lunchrooms and who could make the biggest environmental change overall. Out of all the schools Oak Street Elementary School in Inglewood California managed to come out on top.

Oak Grades of Green

The Spoils of Victory

For coming out on top of the competition the children at Oaks elementary received a $1,000 prize and also got a chance to meet former Lakers player Steve Nash! He came out to their school to meet them all and spend the day there letting the children feel what it’s really like to work hard and come in first place.

Giving the Students the Tools for Success

At the beginning of the Contest Grades of Green provided the school with an educational assembly explaining sustainability and the goal of the competition. They also provided an eco-starter kit a personalized waste reduction plan and finally one-on-one mentoring to make sure that the students understood what they were doing.

Each of the children in the school was encouraged to bring in reusable lunch containers and slowly even the youngest among the school were taught how to recycle and properly take care of all their lunchtime waste.

climate change artics edge

The school won because it adopted the program so completely, and because it was taking other initiatives to improve the environment outside of lunch time. Second Grade teacher Claire Darsa is taking an opportunity to travel out to the edge of the Arctic in Northern Canada to study climate change and plans to bring back her discoveries and improved knowledge to the children of Oaks.

The most important part of the trash challenge isn’t teaching children about sustainability or the importance of saving the environment, it’s about teaching children the power that they have to make changes. Empowering all the children of the future generation is what Grades of Green is really offering and it will make some exciting changes possible in the future.

The Hollywood Central Park Offers the Community a Real Opportunity

April 13, 2015 lacarguy Green Articles, Hollywood Central Park, LAcarGUY Sustainability, Toyota of Hollywood Tags: , , , ,

LAcarGUY and Toyota of Hollywood formed a connection with Lori Goldman of Friends of Hollywood Central Park to help aid the effort and bring this beautiful dream to fruition. Lori Goldman was interested in forming a relationship with Toyota of Hollywood because it’s been a mainstay in the local community for more than 50 years. If there’s any business interested in helping the local community one with such a long-standing history is it.


All of the added space provides room for countless playgrounds, baseball fields and even an amphitheater. It gives people an area they can go to connect with nature, and get outdoors a bit more. The local park would encourage active fitness and provide a place to run or walk dogs. It’s a cool project that helps bring nature to those who are in serious need of it. The community in this section of Hollywood currently have the lowest ratio of open space to population of any area in California, and if there’s anyone who could benefit from such a project, it’s them. Overall the project will bring 38 acres of lush green park land to the community.


There are countless benefits that come along with this massive one-mile length of proposed park. It would help provide clean air to the rest of the city while providing more than 40,000 jobs to the local community. The project offers a fun and natural place for more than 80,000 local kids to play. It also helps connect both sides of the community that were normally split in two because of the highway.

As the project develops it’s easy to see how beneficial the new park would be for the community. There are still some problems that need to be overcome before the project can actually begin, but with each passing meeting the project comes a little closer to being reality and that’s an exciting thing for the Hollywood community.

Grades of Green Youth Corps Members Begin Work on Their Projects

April 8, 2015 lacarguy Grades of Green Tags: , , , , , , ,

Grades of Green Youth Corps members have begun working on their environmental projects for the year, and one project that really stands out was put together by Rylee, a 4th grader from Redondo Beach. She put together a full-on green fair with games and everything and managed to spread some environmental awareness at the same time. Not only is this an impressive feat for anyone, but it’s downright amazing for a girl of such a young age.

Grades of Green Newsletter

One 4th Grader Creates a Green Fair

While most fourth graders are worrying about getting their homework done on time, Rylee, a 4th grader from Madison Elementary in Redondo Beach Ca. was planning an entire Green themed carnival. This Grades of Green Youth Corps student helped put on her third annual Green Festival with fun eco games, recycled goods crafts and a host of informational booths and even a few snack foods.

There were booths set up for many of the local environmental organizations such as Grades of Green, Health the Bay, the Roundhouse Aquarium and the UCLA Astronomy club. The crafts at the fair included mugs, reusable bags, bird feeders and upcycled vases. By building on the recycling theme, Rylee (with a bit of outside help I’m sure) was able to create a variety of fun games like tin can bean bag toss, recycled ski ball and water bottle bowling and there were even prizes for the kids. The fair is an excellent of how the enthusiasm of a single child can unite a community and create impressive, fun and impactful activities.

Grades of Green is an environmental organization that helps get children across the country involved in creating personal projects that are aimed at sustainability or improving the environment. The projects should help inform children and adults while making some sort of green improvement. Every year new projects are tackled and with them countless people are educated.

If you would like to learn more about Grades of Green and what they have going on, or you’d like to make a contribution you can do so by visiting While on the website you can also sign up your school to participate and become an active member of the Grades of Green organization if you want to help out.


Introducing the Hollywood Central Park Project

April 2, 2015 lacarguy Community Involvement, Eco Partners, Hollywood Central Park, LAcarGUY News & Events, Toyota of Hollywood Tags: , , , , , , ,

Since 2009 the non-profit organization Friends of Hollywood Central Park have been working tirelessly to see their dream of a large central park in Hollywood come true. With aid from major sponsors such as LAcarGUY and Toyota of Hollywood as well as hundreds of other supporters the park dream is slowly coming true. The proposed park would sit between Hollywood and Santa Monica BLVD on US 101 will take up a total of 44 acres of land, and provide 38 acres of park to local residents. The park would provide a valuable spot for local festivals and hundreds of thousands of locals access to facilities that aren’t currently nearby. Over 180,000 people live within a mile of the park location, including 40,000 children who could all benefit from having a place to play. HCP_4_10.27.11_Full-02_cs3 Partnership

Both Toyota of Hollywood and LAcarGUY are happy to be sponsors of the Hollywood Central Park project. They are providing funding and exposure to help increase awareness and get the project the support it needs. Throughout April Toyota of Hollywood will put on a display in their showroom based around the park project, and will also distribute information about the project through its social media accounts, blogs and the LAcarGUY email database. These efforts should help make citizens aware of the project and increase the support that it has as well.

Creating the Park

In order to bring this new park to life the plan is to cap US 101 between Hollywood and Santa Monica Blvd. Doing this would create a mile long stretch of park accessible to a wide range of local citizens. The project isn’t a simple one, and it’s not something that will be completed in a few weeks or even months, but it’s a worthwhile one. The project is estimated to create around 40,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Between local hire positions, entry level offerings and apprenticeship programs the new park project will offer a lot to the local community.

There currently isn’t a timeline for the park project to be completed, and it’s still in the initial planning phase. A scoping meeting was held in September of 2014 and the committee is continuing to work through issues that were voiced at the meeting by local community members. It’s a work in progress, but the Hollywood Central Park is an important project that will benefit the community overall. For more information about the project visit for updated news and additioanl coverage about what’s going on.

Get Ready for the 4th Annual SBC Awards

March 20, 2015 lacarguy Global Green USA, Green Charity, LAcarGUY News & Events, LAcarGUY Sustainability, Lexus Santa Monica Tags: , , ,

The 4th Annual Sustainable Business Council Achievement Awards or SBC Awards are coming up on April 22nd and their sure to be a night to remember. They offer a unique opportunity for the leaders in sustainability in Southern California to get the recognition that they deserve and for other sustainable business and thought leaders to meet and mingle with one another and expand their reach and their network. The event is sponsored by top environmental organizations and businesses such as Growing Roots, Summa, Living Homes, LAcarGUY and Lexus Santa Monica.

Jessica Alba

The Event

The SBC (Sustainable Business Council) Achievement Awards is a special event honoring all the Southern California businesses focusing on increasing sustainability in the area and around the country. During the event there will be a silent auction that helps raise revenue for the Sustainable Business Council. There will also be a raffle with a slew of prizes, and the potential to network with some of the top business leaders in sustainable industries in Southern California. In between the major festivities attendees can enjoy tastings from the SBC Restaurant Showcase that brings together leading Vegan, Vegetarian and sustainable restaurants.

Boise Thomas is this year’s Event Emcee and will be handing out awards to the this year’s recipients including Jessica Alba, Brian Lee, Sean Kane, Christopher Gavigan, Christopher Gebhardt and Nancy Mancilla. The CEO of will be making the opening remarks to get the event started.

The Details

The big day is on April 22 and the awards last from 6:30 until 9:00PM. They’re at the Santa Monica BLVD. at 1501 and there’s complimentary valet for added convenience.

If you would like to get involved with the event you can obtain tickets from here and you can submit your business for a potential award by visiting this link. There are ten different categories that each come with their own unique requirements. The application deadline is the 28th of March and there is a registration fee of $60 to get into the judging.

All the specifics are on the flier below, or you can learn more by visiting the official event link here.

SBC Flier