Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pondering the Averill Park Waterscape

The local Superintendent of Operations for the Department of Parks and Recreation came to speak to the public about issues concerning parks and open spaces in the area.

One major issue that we can all work together to help fix is the Averill Park Waterscape, its pools, creek bed, pumping and piping.

Last year, after the pumps failed, the workers at Averill Park began using hoses to fill pools and allow water to flow. They put in enough hoses that 30,000 gallons of water PER DAY flowed through the creek, kept some pools filled and then drained into the storm drains.

In this day and age of needed conservation, the use of that much water ultimately flowing into the storm drain system is a great waste of a resource that is becoming more precious all the time.

It is time to work to get the problems with the pumps, piping, creek bed, pools, and everything else around our true treasure at Averill Park, fixed.

What is interesting too, is the fact that the Department of Parks And Recreation seems to have enough funds to get the jobs done.

There are propositions that have been passed that allocate funds and there are Quimby funds generated in San Pedro for use to help fix and maintain parks specifically in San Pedro.

What is needed is another grass roots organization put together of concerned members of OUR community who would be willing to do whatever it takes to help the processes go forward in the best amount of time possible.

Unlike other grass roots organizations that either support or oppose things like massive residential developments, controversial schools, or proposed condo developments where a beloved market once stood, a grass roots organization supporting the resolution of issues at Averill Park would probably find no opposition at all.

At many parks throughout L.A. advisory boards have been created to provide aid to those specific parks. It is unfortunate these days that some of those boards have floundered, but I think an advisory board for Averill Park, if there isn't one already, or another type of organization founded to see that the issues at Averill Park are dealt with, would benefit everyone in OUR community and beyond.

During the meeting, an individual suggested that folks wanting group photographs taken at Averill Park pay a fee for using that park and its beautiful surroundings. That fee would help defray the maintenance costs of the park and its wonderful water scape.

I would support as much as I can a group that is founded to fix the problems now being dealt with at Averill Park. That park has always been a treasure for my family and I know so many others in OUR community find Averill Park to be one of the best parks around.

Whether I was catching crawdads or sliding down the grassy hill on a big block of ice, those were just two of the grand events I had at that special place.

If you haven't attended a wedding at the park, been photographed for any reason at the park, never walked along the pathways next to the waterscape or (especially) got yourself onto and off of one of the 'islands' along the creek, I don't know how you could consider yourself a 'Real San Pedran'.

But for you 'newcomers' out there that have enjoyed Averill Park in many ways, you are also welcome to help out with the restoration of the water scape at Averill Park.

Now that a meeting about a certain over development in northwest San Pedro has been 'continued' there is an opportunity for you to attend another meeting and voice your comments about Averill Park and having its problems fixed as soon as possible.

The Department of Parks and Recreation's Board of Supervisors is having its monthly meeting on December 11, 2008.

Beginning at 1:30 PM at the Expo Center in Exposition Park, you can attend the meeting and offer comments to the Supervisors about Averill Park or any other Parks and Rec. issue.

I hope that I will be able to create a post very soon about the formation of a group specifically intending on assisting with the issues at Averill Park.

One of the better things about trying to get all the fixes in at the park is that we have been told that there is money available to do the projects, even if there is a requirement for $500,000.

According to Mark Mariscal, the local Superintendent, Quimby funds amounting to between 5 Million Dollars and 6.5 Million Dollars exist to work on Department of Parks and Recreation projects and that a large amount of those funds can only be used for parks in the San Pedro area.

It really isn't about the money and that is a wonderful thing in this day and age. If a group of concerned members of OUR community can be formed to work on the issues, it also demonstrates to the Department of Parks and Recreation Board of Supervisors that the issues are very important to OUR community and the issues should be dealt with.

I have been so very proud of members of OUR community who have come together when needed to help themselves and especially others. San Pedrans have shown when they are faced with problems others suggest they cannot fight, it only make them stronger and more resolved to get what they need done.

I think an organized group helping to get the waterscape at Averill Park restored would find great support from Councilwoman Janice Hahn's office.

Please visit this blog from time to time and see what happens in the future.

Restoring Averill Park to scenes like I remember so many years ago would be a wonderful thing for everyone. The old wooden gazebos are long gone, but there are areas where folks can sit that weren't around when I was younger.

The first time I brought my wife to Averill Park, only a few years ago, we watched a young fellow catch a big crawdad using the correct methods and equipment employed for generations upon generations.

You may still be able to buy a large block of ice from Party Time Ice Co and place a towel or cardboard over it and take it up the hill just to slide down on it, on your tummy, but I am way too old and fat to try that. It will always be a wonderful memory for me and all the others who did it.

But it was, is, and always will be the little creek, with the 'islands', the bridge, the plants, the walkways, the walls, and the laughter that makes Averill Park the remarkable place it is.

A gem. A treasure. A gift from Mr. Peck. Memories. Wonderful experiences. Pure joy and laughter.

Averill Park, our park in OUR community. We need to see it as it should be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree. I, too, live on Averill Park and grew-up sliding down those lovely hills on blocks of ice. This issue of the park's renovation is vital. Before additions or improvements are made ANYWHERE else this park must be restored - yes saved. I invite all to go and see for themselves. And, if you relatively new to San Pedro I invite you to visit the Historical Society and look at the old photos showing the old wooden gazebos and water liles. This treasure is in peril. We cannot wait another year or 6 months for 'reports' and 'studies' to be finished. We must act now. Come take part. Join the Northwest Neighborhood Council and become a part of the team to renovate this gem.