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|Santa Monica Celebrates Four Parks Saturday|
By Lookout Staff
February 24, 2017 -- Santa Monica on Saturday will celebrate the opening of a new park near a rail stop, the renaming of another and renovations at two other parks, City officials said.
The "Parks Day, Come Play!" celebration -- which takes place from 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. -- includes family-friendly activities, entertainment, photo booths and light refreshments, officials said.
"Parks Day, Come Play! demonstrates Santa Monica’s commitment to enriching lives through recreation and cultural programming as well as maximizing the enjoyment of parks for all," City officials said in a statement.
The celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. with the grand opening of Ishihara Park, a new 2.35-acre neighborhood park along the Expo line between Stewart Street and Dorchester Avenue.
The park was "created to provide a buffer between the Exposition Light Rail Maintenance Facility and the adjoining neighborhood," City officials said.
The park was named after George Ishishara, a Japanese-American World War II veteran and resident of Santa Monica from 1958 to 2009 ("New Park Names Honor Santa Monica World War II Veterans," May 2, 2016).
A second park will also bear the name of a local veteran with the dedication Saturday of Stewart Street Park, 1819 Stewart Street, to Gandara Park, named after Private Joe Gandara, a Medal of Honor recipient who died in France at age 20 in 1944.
At Reed Park, 1133 7th Street, visitors can enjoy renovations that include a curving pathway linking shaded areas with tables and benches; “islands” of native, drought-resistant plants; senior-friendly exercise equipment and a open area for toddler soccer ("Santa Monica Funds Reed Park Improvement Project," May 12, 2016).
At Los Amigos Park, 500 Hollister Avenue, the City will celebrate the completion of an innovative $2 million stormwater harvesting and reuse project that captures stormwater, stores it below ground and uses it to irrigate the park's lawn and flush the toilets ("Santa Monica Set to Invest More Than $2 million To Tap Stormwater," May 6, 2016).
Saturday's celebration is a collaborative effort by neighborhood associations, local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community resources to "provide valuable information on a broad spectrum of supportive services and programs available to the public," officials said.
Participants are encouraged to walk, bike, or ride the Big Blue Bus to the events and can join Mayor Ted Winterer and Santa Monica Spoke for a bike ride with the mayor leaving from Gandara Park at 11:30 a.m.
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