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Sustainability Spotlight: Parks Creates More Green Space in Long Beach

Release Date: 2017-10-11

Long Beach’s Department of Parks, Recreation & Marine is adding more sustainable green spaces for environmental and health benefits across the city. Green space (or open space) has many benefits for cities; more pleasant pedestrian walkways and bikeways encourage residents to get active, while trees and plants clean the air and reduce heat caused by large amounts of asphalt. In addition, these new parks help capture and filter rain water as it gets absorbed and sinks back into our aquifers, helping to protect our water supply. Trees in these parks also shade buildings reducing the energy they use for air conditioning, and native landscaping creates new habitats for bees, birds, and other local species.

The latest groundbreaking, the Red Car Greenway, is a 3.66-acre project on the former Pacific Electric Right-of-Way between Park Avenue and Ximeno Avenue. The park will include a pedestrian walking trail and a bike path connecting to the city’s bike route network to connect neighborhoods with opportunities for active transportation. It also features drought-tolerant native landscaping and sustainable design which exceeds State water efficiency standards. This is Phase 2 of the Master Plan for the former Pacific Electric Right-of-Way; Phase 1 opened in September 2016 with a similar sustainable design.

Parks is currently developing over 57 acres of new parks and wetlands, focusing their efforts in park deficient areas. These new parks include the Red Car Greenbelt (3.66 acres), Drake-Chavez Greenbelt (8.75 acres), 14th Street Park Expansion (.2 acres), Wrigley Greenbelt (9.8 acres), DeForest Wetlands (39 acres), and Willow Springs Wetlands (12 acres) which will open later this month. All these new parks have sustainable features such as bioswales to collect stormwater, drought tolerant and native plants, mulch, and recycled paving. The DeForest Wetlands, Willow Springs Park, and the Red Car Greenway in particular all include native and drought tolerant trees and shrubs, native California seed mixes, and a pronounced departure from the standard park which is dominated by lawns. Follow Parks Recreation & Marine on Facebook and Twitter @LongBeachParks, and check the Parks Recreation & Marine website for updates on these parks and park events around the city.