Parks News - We Create Newsletter 2012
We Create Community
February 2012 • Volume 2 Issue 2
Orizaba Park Expansion Project Opens
track design, along where the Pacific Electric Right of Way trains once ran from Long Beach to Los Angeles. The opening of the park added much-needed open space in an area that is park-poor, high density and low income. Access to open space and recreational facilities is critical to improving the quality of life for residents. The project included 1.1 acres of expanded parkland in addition to the renovation of the existing park, for a total of 3.7 acres. The existing park was completely renovated with the exception of the playground (which was a KaBoom community built playground) and mature trees. The entire park received new landscaping, irrigation, trees, and sidewalks. The expansion also included a new skate park, soccer field, full-sized basketball court, and outdoor exercise equipment.
Celebrating are L-R: Erica Martin, RDA; City Manager Pat West; Robert Zur Schmiede, RDA; Tim Kelly, RDA (in rear); Amy Bodek, Development Services; Diane Arnold and John Thomas, RDA Board; Mayor Foster, Councilman O’Donnell, David White, Development Services, Brett Waterfield, Parks and Recreation Commission: Jan Ward, West East Side Community Association, George Chapjian, Director, Parks, Recreation & Marine; and artist Patrick Vogel kneeling.
On Saturday, January 21, the community joined 4th District Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell, members of the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency, Parks and Recreation Commissioners, and Department staff to celebrate the re-opening of Orizaba Park at 1435 Orizaba Avenue. After a short ceremony with remarks by Mayor Bob Foster, Councilmember O’Donnell and others, the unique artwork, “The Train Has Left the Station,” designed and fabricated by local artist Patrick Vogel, was unveiled. The 12-foot by 10-foot stainless steel replica of the Red Car memorializes the importance of trains in the City’s development. The piece is positioned at the end of sidewalk etched with a train
The project was funded by the Redevelopment Agency who provided \$3.9 million to acquire the expansion site and \$1.4 million for the construction for a total of \$5.3 million. Parks, Recreation and Marine was successful in receiving a Proposition 84 competitive from the State of California for the next phase of the Orizaba Park project, a \$2.2 million community center at this location. As families enjoyed the opening day celebration with refreshments, crafts, moon bounces, skating and basketball, it was evident that the new park will be a hub for the neighborhood to gather now and for generations to come.