The city of Long Beach is greening up the 4th district with the help of a $2.2 million grant from the State of California Natural Resources Agency to expand Orizaba Park to include an urban garden and community center. The site is located at 1435 Orizaba Avenue. The ground breaking ceremony was held shortly after the rain retreated Saturday morning.
As Councilmmember Patrick O’Donnell remarked
“God is on our side, softening up the dirt for us today.”
The amount of public support for this project is overwhelming. There were so many people from the community and the city to witness the event.
A few highlights of the talks:
Bill Baker, Chair of the Redevelopment Agency Board
“Things don’t happen unless people care”
Patrick O’Donnell, Fourth District Councilmember
“It didn’t happen because of me, it happened because of we.”
“A tired kid is a good kid. This park is going to make kids tired.”
Jan Ward, President, West East Side Community Association, said
“Patrick O’Donnell never ignored any of our pleas… Orizaba Park will be Pat’s legacy.”
To David White, Redevelopment Project Officer
I am sorry, somehow I didn’t catch your words, but my daughter eventually caught the frisbee you tossed to her. Plus, Jan Ward made it clear that you are the one who made the money happen. Thanks.
Five years ago this project came to the board of the redevelopment agency to increase the existing park by 1.33 acres. After making sure such a move would not contribute to further unemployment in the city, the RDA bought the property. The extra acreage was the former site of 3 warehouse buildings that did not contribute permanent jobs to the community. David White is the development officer in charge of acquiring the land and getting it developed.
The contractor’s truck is already on site. Work on Phase 2, the Construction of the Community Center, begins on Monday and is estimated to take around 8 months to complete.
If you can’t find these people when they are hard at work building our community, you might consider checking out Joe Jost’s.
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