City Ends Toy Drop Off Tradition At Manhattan Beach Park

MANHATTAN BEACH (CBS) – The tradition of sharing toys with other children at Live Oak Park has come to an end due to potential legal suits against the city, according to the park’s top manager.

KNX 1070 Newsradio reporter Ed Mertz spoke with parents about the city’s decision to cease allowing donated toys to be left behind at the park, a practice local parents enjoyed as a way to avoid carting their children’s toys with them when heading down to play.

“I was one of the parents where, when my kids were younger, I’d bring toys and leave them there,” said Stephanie, a Manhattan Beach resident who donated buckets, shovels and sand molds.

While officials do not have pending litigation against the city, the threat of such liability prompted the change in policy.

“Allowing people to bring toys and leave them there does not meet the standard of care,” said Idris Al-Oboudi, Manhattan Beach’s recreation services manager. “That’s the motivation – it’s safety of the children that are coming to play in the playground.”

Live Oak Park was build along Valley Drive in 1939 and includes about 9 acrea of play space, including basketball courts, tennis courts and the tot lot. For some, the sharing of toys was a practice that spanned generations, such as for a woman named Cindy who spoke to KNX.

“I used to bring her dad, my 33-year-old son, down here to the tot lot on the way to the beach,” she said. “Now I’m bringing my granddaughter, and she sort of learned to walk here pushing some of the those little tike cars.”

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