Cesar E. Chavez Park
401 Golden Avenue
Monday - Friday: 9am - 7pm
Youth and Teen Recreation, Senior Programs
Basketball Court, Community Center, Playground, Weight Room, Restrooms, Picnic Area.
Chavez Park began in the mid-1980's with a community planning process. Site acquisition began in 1994 with primary funding from the Los Angeles County Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Act of 1992. The community center was largely funded by the Port of Long Beach as mitigation for the destruction of recreational facilities at the former Roosevelt Naval Base on Terminal Island.
The site incorporated Willmore Park at 4th Street and Golden Avenue. Willmore Park, developed in 1987, replaced "temporary" park space created in 1977 along the edge of Shoreline Drive as Coastal Commission mandated mitigation for the City's encroachment into the abandoned Palm Beach Park for the Catalina Landing office. The Willmore Park site had been a City warehouse. Both Willmore Park, and the "temporary" park space it replaced are now part of Chavez Park.
The park opened in 1999, and the community center opened in 2001. An outdoor Amphitheater adjacent to the community center was added in 2006. It descends to a central stage by spiral walkways in a nautilus design. The amphitheater is suited for community events including plays, concerts, weddings, and children's programs. The park includes two playgrounds, the amphitheater, picnic areas, a large meadow and a half court basketball court. In a partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District, one block of the park is used as the play area for Cesar Chavez School, which opened in 2005. In exchange, the multi-purpose cafeteria/auditorium room was expanded to be a gymnasium and is open to the public during non-school hours. The school parking lot is also jointly used.
The park acreage includes 14.95 acres that is in the median island of Shoreline Drive. The planned modification to the Shoemaker Bridge as part of the 710 Freeway redevelopment will reconnect much of this area to the access portion of the park. Plans are underway to improve Chavez Park by creating a bike connection to the LARIO bicycle trails and converting an empty building space to a teen center and a meadow to soccer field.