Scherer Park History

Two additional parcels of land were purchased by the City in 1945. Another parcel, which extended the park to Long Beach Boulevard, was purchased in 1951. An additional parcel was purchased in 1956. Finally, a 1.23-acre area of excess Del Amo Boulevard right-of-way was leased to the Boys and Girls Club and added to the park inventory in 1988, bringing the total park area to 28.74 acres. This was reduced by 2.6 acres, which were converted to the site of a police station in 2001.

This park was named on October 14, 1948, for Herman J. Scherer, who was Superintendent of Parks from June 16, 1940 to his death on August 2, 1948. A development plan was approved in May 1956 and the park opened on November 10, 1959. Park improvements included a lake, with overlook on Atlantic Avenue including a waterfall and a cascade, a small recreation building with an office and small multi-purpose room, four tennis courts, a basketball court, a volleyball court, a baseball diamond, a playground and picnic areas scatter through a relatively passive park.

In 1975, the City leased the 2.2-acre section of the park that was cut off from the remainder of the park by Del Amo Boulevard to the YMCA. The YMCA constructed a recreation center and swimming pool on the site. The lease has subsequently been extended to March 2, 2015.

In 1984, a temporary “holding facility” trailer was placed in the park to save the travel time lost in transporting arrested individuals from north Long Beach to the jail downtown. Subsequently, additional trailers were added to create a police substation.

In 1986, the City received grants for $400,000 from the state Parks Bond issue of 1984, and $200,000 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for park restoration in Scherer Park including replacement of the irrigation system, walkway repairs, new security lighting, new picnic tables, game court fencing repairs, expanding playground equipment and additional landscaping. In 1988, a nearby area of excess right-of-way for Del Amo Boulevard was leased to the Boys and Girls Club for construction of a recreational facility across Atlantic Avenue from Scherer Park. It has since been administered as part of the park.

Due to a Land and Water Conservation grant, the City was required to replace the parkland lost with the conversion to a police station. This was done with the development of Davenport Park. The conversion of the parkland to a police station was highly controversial, and lead to the adoption of more restrictive policies toward parkland conversions in the Open Space and Recreation Element of the General Plan in 2002, in the dedication of all parks for park purposes in 2003, and in a Charter amendments in 2002 increasing the power of the Parks and Recreation Commission to object to parkland conversions and in 2007 in placing greater restrictions on the conversion of dedicated parks.

In 1997, new playground equipment and picnic tables were installed with funding from the Los Angeles County Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Act of 1992. Circulation improvements were also made in the lake and the undermining of sections of the cascades was repaired. In 2002, American with Disabilities Act improvements from the transition plan was completed with Community Development Block Grant funding.

A new master planning effort for the park has been underway since September 2006. Those plans have focused on replacing the undersized recreation building with a full sized community recreation center; adding perimeter trails for exercise, and restoring the lake. Completion of the master plan and implementation of improvements has been slowed by economic conditions.

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