City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

City of Long Beach Wins Two California American Planning Association Awards
Jane Grobaty
Community Information Officer
Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine

The City of Long Beach (City) received two prestigious awards from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) at the 2018 APA California Conference that took place yesterday in San Diego. The APA California Awards Program encourages quality in planning and increases the public’s awareness of the planning profession by recognizing outstanding achievement in the planning field.

“These awards highlight our staff’s vision and community’s commitment in working together to create open space in our city that provides accessible areas for recreation and places for residents and visitors to enjoy nature and experience local history,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.

The 2018 Public Outreach Award of Merit was awarded for the City’s Uptown Open Space Vision Plan, and the 2018 Large Jurisdiction Award of Excellence was in recognition of the Willow Springs Wetlands Restoration Project.

“I am very proud of the efforts of staff from Parks, Recreation and Marine and the Office of Sustainability who created a process that involved our community in laying the groundwork for these two important projects and for working hard to move them forward,” said PRM Director Gerardo Mouet.

The Uptown Open Space Vision Plan (Vision Plan) was a collaboration between the Office of Councilmember Rex Richardson, PRM, the Department of Health and Human Services, and City Fabrick (a nonprofit design studio). The Vision Plan, brought forth by Councilmember Rex Richardson and approved by City Council on July 24, 2018, drew upon community input to creatively identify and enhance public open spaces to provide accessibility within a 10-minute walk for residents of North Long Beach. The Vision Plan was informed by a three-phase, community-driven engagement process, which culminated in a “Color Block Walk” event where residents used washable color powders to express possibilities for additional open space.

The Willow Springs Wetlands Restoration Project was led by PRM and the Office of Sustainability. The Project, which opened in October 2017 was recognized for the visionary planning process that resulted in the restoration of 11.5 acres of a 48-acre degraded site. The wetland restoration highlights the pivotal role this location played in the City’s establishment in the late 1800’s by preserving the history and unique topography of the site. Visitors now discover a walking loop through a series of water-capturing bio-swales that flow to one acre of restored seasonal wetlands and 10 acres of habitat with native plants and trees. A constructed spring mimics the original artesian spring that provided water to early Long Beach, and a water retention basin cleans and diverts water to be reused on site. An outdoor environmental education classroom provides a place for visitors to come and learn about sustainability and habitat restoration.

About the City of Long Beach

Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.

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About Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department (PRM) is recognized for excellence in management practices and programs, having received the National Parks and Recreation Association Gold Medal Award four times. PRM provides leisure programs and services to residents and visitors, which improve quality of life in Long Beach. PRM maintains 171 parks with 26 community centers, 320 acres of open space, and 6.1 miles of beaches; implements the City's Open Space Plan, provides recreational opportunities to meet diverse community needs, maintains public marinas, and provides for public safety and the humane treatment of animals.

For more information about the Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine, visit Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About APA California

APA California provides vision and leadership that fosters better planning for California, builds public and political support for sound planning and provides its members with the tools, services and support that advance the art and science of planning. For more information on this organization, visit: