City Parks Alliance Names Rotary Centennial Park a “Frontline Park”

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City Parks Alliance Names Rotary Centennial Park a “Frontline Park”Rotary Centennial Park in Long Beach, California has been named a “Frontline Park” by the national urban park advocacy organization City Parks Alliance.

Each month, City Parks Alliance recognizes two “Frontline Parks” to promote and highlight inspiring examples of urban park excellence, innovation, and stewardship across the country. The program also seeks to highlight examples of the challenges facing our cities’ parks as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures, and urban neighborhood decay.

“We selected Rotary Centennial Park for recognition because it exemplifies the power of public-private partnerships to create and maintain urban parks that build community and make our cities sustainable and vibrant” said Catherine Nagel, Executive Director of City Parks Alliance. “We hope that by shining the spotlight on this park that we can raise awareness about both the necessity and the promise of these kinds of partnerships to spur investment in our nation’s urban parks.”

Long Beach’s Rotary Centennial Park has been called a “ribbon of green” due to the contrast of its colorful landscaping and art elements against the monotones of apartments that surround it. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rotary International in 2005, the Long Beach Rotary Club raised $100,000 to help design and construct a 1.2-acre park at Pacific Coast Highway and Junipero Avenue. This city-owned undeveloped land along the former Pacific Electric right-of-way is surrounded by a densely developed area with nearly 80 percent of the residents living in apartments with no backyards.

Long Beach Rotary involved the public and stakeholders throughout the design process. Community input was translated into plans that incorporated a solar system theme with art installations of planets, a sundial sculpture, benches, turf, trees, playground equipment, and a shade shelter. These creative elements have made Rotary Centennial Park one of the most unique and inviting parks in the city and a welcome addition to a park-poor neighborhood. The Rotary’s involvement didn’t stop with the park’s creation.

Every month since the park opening, Long Beach Rotarians have held work parties to help clean, repair and maintain the park.

“The park represents the Rotary Club’s vision to create a tribute to their work in the community and enrich the lives of the surrounding neighborhood” says Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine George Chapjian. “We are proud to have Rotary Centennial Park selected as a Frontline Park, a testament to the positive results that come from partnerships and collaboration between organizations, city government and residents.”

Rotary Centennial Park will be featured on CPA’s website, www.cityparksalliance.org, during the month of November. Civic Center in Denver, Colorado was also selected as a “Frontline Park” in November.

The “Frontline Parks” program is made possible with generous support from DuMor, Inc. (www.dumor.com) and PlayCore (www. www.playcore.com).

City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks. It unites and serves a growing network of hundreds of civic and community leaders, government agencies, park and recreation authorities, funders and others. CPA’s vision is that everyone in urban America will live within walking distance of a park that is clean, safe and vibrant. www.cityparksalliance.org.

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