City of Alhambra Hosting Community Feedback Meetings for Park Grant Applications
Alhambra staff are looking to apply for grants to build one new pocket park, a community center, and other upgrades and renovations at five other parks
The city of Alhambra is currently hosting community meetings to gather feedback on seven potential park projects in hopes of applying for state grant funding. The projects include a new pocket park, converting a previously used medical facility into a community center, and upgrades and renovations at five other parks.
“As we go through the additional meetings and our process, we’ll be sharing much of that input with our recreation commission as well as the city council,” said Lucy Garcia, Alhambra’s assistant city manager. “Ultimately, so that these ideas can culminate and either broaden the concepts that we’ve developed or provide (an) opportunity for additional ways to grow the concepts, or perhaps even completely new projects altogether.”
According to the Los Angeles County Comprehensive Park and Recreation Needs Assessment, Alhambra has a high need for park space. Of the currently 77.9 acres of park space within the city, there is only 0.9 park acres per 1000 residents; the county average is 3.3 park acres per 1,000. Additionally, 44 percent of the city’s population lives within 1/2 mile of a park; the county average is 49 percent.
The proposed pocket park on West Valley and South Fremont and the community center at the Shorb Clinic site would in theory help to alleviate some of the park burdens of the city. But no new park facilities are being proposed in the areas with the highest park need, specifically in the north part of the city.
The final community meeting will take place on October 20 and recommendations are expected to be submitted by November to the Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council.
Here’s a rundown of a few of the park projects:
Shorb Community Center
The shuttered Shorb Clinic on West Shorb and South 6th Streets is proposed to be converted into a community center. The 1930s building, which is directly south from Moor Field, was gifted by Los Angeles County and acquired by the city in 2019. While other Alhambra parks use their gymnasiums for public meetings, Alhambra Library is the only city location that has partitioned spaces for meetings and classes. A feasibility study is currently being done to see whether to refurbish the building or tear it down and build from the ground up. The city has not found any historical designation for the building, said Mike Macias, Director of Parks and Recreation.
Pocket Park at Hellman and South Fremont
Alhambra is proposing to build a pocket park on the site of a former satellite library at the corner of South Fremont and West Hellman Avenues. The park would be across the street from Fremont Elementary School and the 10 Freeway. This site is particularly tricky since it’s along the project corridor that Metro shortlisted for “enhancing” due to the end of the Interstate 710 extension.
Gateway Plaza Park
Right now, the most obvious everyday aspects of this park are the towering gateway and the absence of people. This park sits at the corner of West Valley Boulevard and South Fremont Avenue. Currently, the park has walking paths, benches, flower beds and hedge landscaping. The proposed park project would convert the flower beds and current landscaping into green open space, aka grass.
I’m all for trying to make park space more usable, but grass ain’t the answer when freight and heavy traffic are constantly passing through this corridor and there’s no shade to shelter under. Can we get some shade and fruit trees instead and keep the landscaping as is, please? Thanks.
The proposed project would convert a closed recreational pool into park space, adjacent to the Joslyn Center. Multiple comments instead called for installing a skate park. There currently are no skate parks in the city.
“We’re missing out on vital opportunities and our kids are underserved,” said Alhambra resident Rico Garcia, who supported the idea of a skate park at Story Park.
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