State to fund improvements at Hollydale Park

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By Alfredo Santana

Contributing Writer

SOUTH GATE — The city has received a $4.1 million grant to renovate Hollydale Community Park from the state’s Department of Parks and Recreation as part of its efforts to revamp recreational facilities.

Parks and Recreation Department Director Steve Costley said at a Feb. 10 meeting that the city has not received the disbursement, but when it does staff will start a process to request rehabilitation bids.

The proposed refurbishment of the 2.2-acre park would include a new community center, a parking area, an outdoor movie screen, picnic shelters with accessible tables and pathways for people with disabilities, a basketball court and an artificial turf for other sports.

The redesigned park also will offer concrete tennis tables, café tables, two 20-by-40-foot shaded structures, brick seats, brand new drinking fountains and concrete sidewalks.

Costley said the city should sign the grant contract with the state by the end of the month to receive the money.

“Our hope is to have requests for the proposed work out by April or May,” Costley said.

David Volz Design Landscape Architects, the company that sketched the projected park renovation, may have an advantage landing the refurbishment contract due to its site knowledge when the issue is discussed by the City Council, Costley added.

Once the architecture firm is officially chosen and work starts, the entire renovation should take from nine to 12 months, he said.

In addition, city staff and members from the Conservation Corps of Long Beach would be assigned to work on the refurbishment project.

In a report issued last November, the Parks and Recreation Commission updated the City Council on the progress made for maintenance and renewals of all recreational sites in pursuance of the goals approved in a 2008 park master plan.

“Cities often take time and money to put together a ‘master plan’ for their Parks & Recreation Department and after some initial ‘hoopla’ the plan gets put in a binder and placed on a shelf never to be opened again,” commissioners Jennifer Cypert, Robert Montalvo, Adolfo Varas, Alan Flores and secretary Joshua Barron summarized in their report

The commission reported it completed the park grant’s application in 2019, but it wasn’t until last year when the final petition was picked by the state for funding.

In a statement posted on its website, the city said that a new parking area will be build in addition to the modernized recreational grounds.

“These funding awards are extremely beneficial for our community,” the statement said. “South Gate will now have an additional updated outdoor public space for our residents on the eastside of town to call home and create lasting memories.”

Located at 12221 Industrial Ave., Hollydale Community Park abuts cargo train tracks to the west, three warehouses to the north, the Tiger Martial Arts Academy to the south and craftsman homes to the east.

In addition, the city will get an additional $2 million to help pay for the construction of a small park adjacent to the Long Beach (710) Freeway called the urban Orchard Park project.

Located at 9475 W. Frontage Road, the park’s main goal is to divert and treat storm water runoffs from the Los Angeles River and provide a recreational landscape that promotes healthy lifestyles and education on its plants.

The urban Orchard Park involves shifting storm water from the Bandini Channel to an underground reservoir, featuring wetlands and vegetation selected by local residents and signs referring to the plant’s representations.

The park will border Firestone Boulevard to the north, the Thunderbird Villa Mobile Home Park to the south, the Los Angeles River to the west and the freeway to the east.

Costley said the Urban Orchard project is well in advance, a layer of concrete was recently poured in on grounds and its road construction has begun.

Once completed, the seven-acre park will offer amenities such as an educational garden with 18 raised planters, an orchard with fruit trees, a playground featuring a water source, walkways and bike pathways, exercise equipment located at scattered spots along the paths, drought tolerant landscaping and irrigation lines.

Slated to be completed next January, the new park will host native shade trees, and also offer pathway lighting, picnic tables and benches, drinking fountains, trash cans, public art and restrooms.

In addition to South Gate, the California Water Boards and the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy are supervising and funding the $20.4 million project.

Additional funds are allocated from Proposition 1, a voter-approved measure in 2014 that calls for sponsoring infrastructure systems to adapt to climate change, improve communities’ self reliance on local water and to better manage the region’s water resources through watersheds.


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