Riverside's Fairmount Park Selected As "Frontline Park" by City Parks Alliance
Riverside, CA –Fairmount Park in Riverside, California has been named a “Frontline Park” by the national urban park advocacy organization City Parks Alliance.
Each month, City Parks Alliance recognizes two “Frontline Parks” 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.
“We selected Fairmount Park for recognition because it exemplifies the catalytic power of parks to transform urban areas” said Catherine Nagel, Executive Director of City Parks Alliance. “We hope that by shining the spotlight on this park that we can raise awareness about both the necessity and the promise of these kinds of revitalization projects to spur investment in our nation’s urban parks.”
Fairmount Park is a 250-acre refuge designed in 1911 by the Olmsted Brothers firm. Like many older parks, Fairmount Park experienced decades of decline and deterioration. The rise in crime and homeless encampments kept residents away. Ten years ago, the city and its citizens decided to take back their park. After a series of physical improvements and new cultural programming, residents returned to the park by the thousands. Building on that success, the city and partners such as The ARC of Riverside County, created a 25,000 square-foot Universally Accessible Playground. “This change has inspired a new gold standard for inclusion and assures that all its citizens can fully enjoy Fairmount Park,” says Marnie Norris, Director of Programs for Shane’s Inspiration, the nonprofit organization that designed the playground. Ralph Nunez, Director of Riverside’s Parks, Recreation & Community Services adds, “Parks are more than cutting the grass and trimming the hedges. A vibrant park can help change the dynamics of a community.”
Fairmount Parkwill be featured on CPA’s website, www.cityparksalliance.org, during the month of April. Coolidge Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee was also selected as a “Frontline Park” in April.
City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks. It unites and serves a growing network of hundreds of civic and community leaders, government agencies, park and recreation authorities, funders and others. CPA’s vision is that everyone in urban America will live within walking distance of a park that is clean, safe and vibrant. www.cityparksalliance.org