Bringing the Los Angeles city parks system into the 21st century, a pilot program began Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, to create Wi-Fi hot spots at five parks and a beach site to allow residents to remain connected and report any problems they see.
Called “Oh Ranger! Wi-Fi,” the program became available at Reseda Park, Cabrillo Beach, Echo Park Lake, Griffith Observatory, Pershing Square and Venice Beach.
Funding for the program came from Toyota Motors. Officials did not say how much the company paid.
Also as part of the program, the city rolled out a new mobile web site to provide park information.
The site is available at m.laparks.org and provides a variety of information on upcoming events, services and programs available at parks and an area for residents to report service requests.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who is chairman of the council's Information and Technology Committee, and Councilmen Mitch O'Farrell and Tom LaBonge announced the start of the program in ceremonies at the Griffith Observatory.
The Oh Ranger! app is connected to a national website, www.ohranger.com, that provides information on parks.
Blumenfield said the program is the first part of his goal to eventually have free Wi-Fi access throughout the city.
“This is a good way to start,” Blumenfield said. “The (Recreation and Parks Department) selected the sites, but I pushed hard for Reseda Park because of its size and the number of people who use it.
“This shows we can partner with a company to get this done with little or no city cost,” Blumenfield said.
Under the program, visitors will be able to log on to a city web site and have all the access to the Internet that they would at their own home, Blumenfield said.