The State of California recently awarded $5.3 million in grant funds to the City of Long Beach for park development activities at Armory Park, and Drake / Cesar Chavez Park.
“It is so gratifying to again add urban open space and grow our parks portfolio,” said Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster. “The Drake/Chavez Greenbelt increases active recreational opportunities and bicycle connectivity while Armory Park is an incredibly creative, community-driven idea that has been 5 years in the making. Our focus on park space is paying off — these are both huge wins for Long Beach residents and I can’t wait to see these finished projects.”
Long Beach faced fierce competition in this Statewide grant solicitation, as over 400 applicants submitted proposals that totaled $1.3 billion for a only $150 million of available Statewide Parks Program funding. Long Beach bested over 400 applicants, and will receive $5.3 million for park improvements at Armory Park, and Drake / Cesar Chavez Park.
“Building Armory Park has been a passion of mine since first coming into office, and I am delighted that the East Village will finally get its park,” said First District Councilman Robert Garcia. “In addition, these grants will also fund phase one of the Drake/Chavez expansion that will include two new soccer fields and play areas.”
Funding will assist with the development of Armory Park, a new 0.84 acre park at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, Alamitos Avenue and Sixth Street. Armory Park will host a new playground, half-court basketball court, exercise equipment and skate elements – all features that have been popular at various parks through the City. Long Beach’s newest park will also feature an art garden and sustainable landscaping around a brand new multi-use plaza and amphitheater. These facilities will be available for community use, free of charge.
Improvements that are planned at Drake / Chavez Park feature a Greenbelt that will connect the two parks, and a parkway trail leading to Anaheim Street. These accessibility components, coupled with two new soccer fields that will be constructed in the future, will provide ample green space for positive recreation.
The City’s Parks, Recreation and Marine Department is a leader in the industry. Recognized for providing outstanding facilities, programs, and management that reflect the needs and interests of a diverse community, the National Parks and Recreation Society awarded Long Beach the prestigious Gold Medal Award. The City has held this recognition for the past three years, and will continue to uphold these values as new parks are developed in areas of need through the City.
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