California Group Remaking Tough City, One Park at a Time

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Andrew Burton / for NBC News

The Iron Triangle in Richmond, California, has historically been one of the poorest neighborhoods in the heart of one of the poorest cities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Elm Play Lot a decade ago was a symbol of such urban decline with broken wine bottles littering the asphalt.

But 10 years later grass has sprouted, along with a garden, play structures, barbecues, a zip-line and even a small creek. Children dip their toes in the burbling water, if they aren’t too distracted by classes in art, chess, gardening and much more, NBC News reported.

A non-profit called Pogo Park's efforts there and elsewhere in the city could be a model for urban innovation, experts say. They let residents, not bureaucrats, decide what they need.

Click through for more on what's happening in Richmond.

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