NEW FIRST DISTRICT PARKS AND OPEN SPACE
Seaside Park: Thanks to the support of Supervisor Knabe, the Parks & Recreation Department, the Redevelopment Agency and the Washington Neighborhood, we opened Seaside Park in the Washington Neighborhood earlier this year. The park, many years in the making, includes a new soccer field, a new playground and large open spaces. It also includes a beautiful mural of famous peacemakers by local artist Jose Loza.
Michael K. Green Skatepark: We secured federal funding and built a new skatepark at the 14th Street Greenbelt. Named for a beloved local teen skater, the park serves hundreds of teens and children every week, and has made a remarkable impact in a Washington Neighborhood.
K-9 Corner Dog Park: Thanks to the Redevelopment Agency and a proposal from the North Pine Neighborhood Alliance, the city also opened its first ever 100% solar powered park at K-9 Corner. The small neighborhood dog park is a welcome addition to the North Pine Neighborhood.
New City Urban Farm: The Long Beach Housing Development Company and New City School partnered to open Long Beach's first urban education farm, complete with producing beds, a chicken coop, a farm stand, and an outdoor classroom. The farm at 15th and Long Beach adds much-needed greenspace to the Washington Neighborhood.
PARKS OR GREEN SPACE UNDER CONSTRUCTION OR FULLY FUNDED
Mary Molina Community Garden: We recently broke ground on the City’s newest community garden, and the first on the Westside. Named for avid gardener and community leader Mary Molina, whose family generously donated the land for this project, the garden will be a sanctuary for neighbors and great center for community.
The Courts @ 14th: Preliminary work has begun and a groundbreaking date of July 6 is set for the new basketball courts at 14th and Locust. The courts will be sized for team play and feature bleachers for spectators.
Craftsman Park: This park, funded by a State grant after lots of hard work by our Parks Department and the Craftsman Village Historic District, is in a beautiful historic district that has long lacked park space. It will feature native plants and walking paths, and was designed by community members. The park will breakground later this year.
Willmore City Heritage Garden: This open space could not have been possible without the hard work of the Willmore City Heritage Association, Farmers & Merchants Bank, and various other community sponsors. Their hard work turned a formerly run down corner of Willmore City, into a lush and sustainable garden, located off 7th street and Maine Avenue. This "green" space includes a water efficient irrigation system, bike racks and reused planters and benches. The residents have additional plans to paint a mural and add other features at the garden soon.
PARKS IN PLANNING STAGE OR PARTIALLY FUNDED
Drake Park Expansion: This massive park project, restoring Long Beach’s oldest park and connecting it to the LA River, will create one of the biggest and most attractive parks in the State, with new soccer playing fields, gardens, a nature center, bike paths, and the restoration of many of the park’s historic features. We have secured funding for the Environmental Impact Report, which is scheduled to be completed this year, and are applying for park grants to complete the first phase.
Armory Park: With the help of our Parks Department and our Traffic and Transportation Staff, we have already secured a $900,000 grant that will help transform the City’s most dangerous intersection, at 7th and Alamitos, into a calmer and safer location. We are in the process of applying for additional grants that will build a new park in a neighborhood that has historically lacked park space. The new park will be a great neighbor for the Museum of Latin American Art and the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum.
14th Street Greenbelt: Having built a new skatepark, and planning a new basketball court, the transformation of 14th street between Long Beach Blvd and magnolia continues. We are planning community meetings to begin enhancing the entire area, including a brand new gateway to the greenbelt at Long Beach Blvd, as well as new areas for children, greenspace, new fencing, and other changes.
Harvey Milk Promenade Park: Thanks to the support of the RDA and the Parks & Recreation Commission and Department, we are one step closer to breaking ground on Harvey Milk Promenade Park in Downtown Long Beach. In the next few weeks, the City's Housing and Parks Committee will make a final naming recommendation to the full council, and in the next few months the RDA and Parks Commission will work together with the community to finalize designs and the transfer of land to our Parks Department.
MAJOR PARK IMPROVEMENTS
Jenny Oropeza Community Center: We named the community center at Cesar Chavez Park after State Senator Jenny Oropeza, whose vision and devotion w ere responsible for creating that park where there had once only been blight. The Jenny Oropeza Community Center is a great place for neighbors to meet, and her name and story will remind young people that, with hard work and a willingness to serve, anything is possible.
Pacific & 6th Community Garden: We restored and enhanced the community garden at Pacific and Sixth, including the addition of artwork, new fencing, and other improvements with the support of the Pacific Avenue Taskforce and Long Beach Organic who manage and helped build the garden.
Bembridge House Garden: This quaint and small garden space is located adjacent to one of the most beautiful historic homes in Long Beach, the Bembridge House near Drake Park. This garden space was created with the help of our Parks Department as well as the women from the Bembridge House. It features a bench with bronze plaque, dedicated to Dorothy Bembridge. There are also beautiful native plants that surround the bench as well as two other areas that face the house.
I'm proud of all the progress and the hardwork from all the community leaders and city staff that made these park projects possible. I want to again thank the hardwork of our Parks and Recreation Commission. While these projects will help transform communities, there is still much more work to do to create more open space and parks.
Thanks for your support, and Go Long Beach!