12233 Star Street, El Monte, CA 91732
Durfee-Thompson Joint Use Park located adjacent to the San Gabriel River Levee – and across from the local Quarries and 605 Freeway, the school park is situated within the Emerald Necklace of East Los Angeles County. The site is a landscaped trail wrapping around the southeast corner of a schoolyard, it features an outdoor classroom and nature trail as well as activity equipment and resources for children with special needs.
BEFORE – Amigo de los Rios and our community partners renovated this park site, Durfee Thompson School Students suffered from a disproportionate level of asthma – and were faced with a dusty and hot field for exercise, which presented challenges to their physical education program and health. Students fearing they would enter Middle School less physically fit than their peers approached the Superintendent for help in establishing better opportunities for exercise.
AFTER – project completion the Durfee Thompson School was surrounded by a perimeter of green – over 300 trees were planted on campus providing a green screen of shade and cooler temperatures. A discovery of nature takes place along the perimeter trail and within the outdoor classroom. Amigos created bioswales to manage stormwater, developed a landscape with native plants providing a sense of place and heritage also benefiting equestrian users of the adjacent County trail. Local residents, parents, and students benefit from the meandering exercise trail which connects to the San Gabriel River Regional Trail.
Community Involvement: Amigos engaged local residents, teachers and students from the two schools, professionals working with the numerous orthopedically challenged children at Bryon E Thompson school.
Teachers helped us design the educational native habitat area in such a manner as to complement State of California curricula in science, art, and history. Special Needs students and the professionals working with them helped us incorporate amenities and features that would be supportive and stimulating to these children.
This site is a location of regular Saturday Stewardship events.
Project Team: Amigos de los Rios with VCC Engineering, Multiple Youth Corps: California Conservation Corp, San Gabriel Conservation Corp, and Los Angeles Conservation Corp helped implement the greening project.
Park Funding: Proposition A, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina
Durfee Thompson Joint Use Park Design Elements:
To keep the parks and trails of the Emerald Necklace Park Network at their best and help out the municipalities overseeing the locations, Amigos de los Rios conducts weekly Park Restoration Events. This work is all lovingly done by volunteers. We welcome anyone that wants to help out their community, learn about nature and their environment, and get to know others with the same interests.