Santa Monica’s two newest parks — Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square — have been named “Frontline Parks” by the national urban park advocacy organization City Parks Alliance.
Each month, City Parks Alliance recognizes a “Frontline Park” 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.
City Parks Alliance Executive Director Catherine Nagel said the organization selected Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square for recognition because they exemplified the power of urban parks to build community and make our cities sustainable and vibrant.
“We hope that, by shining the spotlight on these parks, we can raise awareness about both the necessity and the promise of public open space to spur investment in our nation’s urban parks,” Nagel said.
Built on a site previously occupied by the RAND Corporation’s headquarters and more recently a surface parking lot, Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square encompass seven acres in Santa Monica’s centrally-located civic center.
The completion of these parks represents a key step toward completing a plan that re-envisions the 67-acre civic center area as a vibrant new neighborhood.
Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor said the City was honored that Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square had received national recognition by the City Parks Alliance as “Frontline Parks.”
“Through creative use of space, the parks have transformed a flat asphalt lot into a magical oasis amid our urban environment,” O’Connor said. “Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square provide welcome respite and enhance the wellbeing of people of all ages – residents, visitors, and area workers alike.”
Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square are being featured on CPA’s website, www.cityparksalliance.org, during the month of January.