Rotary Centennial Park 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 highlight examples of urban park excellence, innovation, and stewardship across the country. The program also seeks to highlight examples of the challenges facing the nation’s parks as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures, and urban neighborhood decay.
“Rotary Centennial Park was selected 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.
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.
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.