The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has appointed Norma Edith García as the new Director of the Department Parks and Recreation (LA County Parks) and the Los Angeles County Regional Parks and Open Space District. Norma is the first woman to serve in this capacity since the founding of the Department in 1944.
By News Desk
In her role as Director, Ms. García is responsible for the Department’s operations that include a $232 million budget, more than 2,458 employees, and asset management of 183 parks, 70,079 acres of parkland, over 210 miles of trails with staging areas, 5 equestrians centers, 14 lakes – 3 of which are boating and swimming lakes, 475 sports amenities, 42 swimming pools, 15 wildlife sanctuaries, and 10 nature centers.
Norma also directs the largest municipal golf system in the nation, consisting of 20 golf courses, in addition to the world-class Arboreta and Botanic Gardens – Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles County Arboretum, Virginia Robinson Gardens and South Coast Botanical Gardens and the Hollywood Bowl and Ford Theaters. She will also lead the Department during emergencies and natural disasters, where gyms, local parks, and regional facilities become shelters for residents and livestock, providing a safety-net for communities throughout Los Angeles County.
García will also serve as the Director of the Los Angeles County Regional Parks and Open Space District (RPOSD) administering Measure A (Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Protection Measure) dedicating $90 million annually, in perpetuity, in grant programs for Los Angeles County’s local parks, beaches and open space areas.
Norma brings extensive knowledge and experience to the Department with her continuous service of 17 years at the County of Los Angeles. García had recently been appointed as the Department’s Acting Director since March 27, 2020. Previously, she served as the Chief Deputy Director since September of 2016, in which she was also the first woman to serve in that role. Formerly, she served as the Deputy Director for the Department’s Planning and Development Agency. While going to college, Norma worked as a park and recreation leader, coaching softball, basketball, volleyball, and cheerleading.
Our parks are the backyard of Los Angeles County residents, and I look forward to leading the Department with empathy, a vision for equity, an unwavering commitment in serving our communities and working with the Board of Supervisors to create a pathway for Los Angeles County’s recovery.
Norma grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, where she visited Whittier Narrows Regional Park often and grew to love and appreciate the value of parks in her life and community. She is a daughter of immigrants and the first in her family to attend college. Norma graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Urban Planning. She and her adventurous family and husky enjoy everything about parks,
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