More than 100 community members recently celebrated the completion of USC-supported improvements at Hazard Park in Boyle Heights.

In early spring, USC contributed $1.1 million toward a new jogging path, outdoor fitness zone and new toddler zone, as well as improvements to the tennis and basketball courts, and $100,000 for youth sports programming at the park adjacent to the Health Sciences Campus.

City officials, including Sylvia Patsaouras, president of the board of commissioners of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and José Huizar, council member for Los Angeles District 14, thanked USC on Oct. 31 for its commitment to the local community.

“It is a reflection of what we can do in the community when we work together,” Huizar said. “This park has a lot of history for Boyle Heights, Ramona Gardens, Lincoln Heights and El Sereno.

“It’s been great to see Health Sciences and county employees having lunch here at the park, to see family picnics and young people exercising,” he added.

Martha Escutia, JD, vice president for USC Government Relations, recalled the collaborative process that took place during community outreach meetings on the Health Sciences Campus: “I still remember how the moms especially asked for greater safety as well as for exercise equipment, better lighting and sidewalks.”

Added Escutia: “USC looks forward to working with all of you in this effort to make Hazard Park a beautiful and safe place for all to enjoy. We will continue to build upon our 135 year history in our community.”

Cheryl Resnik, DPT, associate professor of clinical physical therapy and associate chair of the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at USC, invited community members to participate in Fit Families, a free exercise and nutrition program supported by the Good Neighbors Campaign, at Hazard Park every Saturday morning.

— Teresa Lara