Residents and Anaheim city officials gathered on Guinida Lane yesterday for a groundbreaking ceremony for a new park. The half-acre parcel of land in the barrio near Disneyland sprouts few trees and is mostly barren, but will eventually become into a vibrant green space complete with exercise stations, park benches and BBQ grills. The gathering for Paul Revere Park may not seem like much to many, but it meant a great deal for residents of the Guinida Lane community.
"We've been waiting three years with promises that the park was going to be built," says community leader Mariana Rivera. Residents and city officials met at the nearby Paul Revere Elementary to develop plans that always seemed to be delayed. "It's going to be very beneficial for the children to have a place to play," Rivera adds, now that the moment has finally come closer to reality.
The city-owned property used to be home to apartment buildings that were razed after acquisition. "Now that we have adequate funding, the park should be completed in about a year from now," Community Services Director Terry Lowe stated at the ceremony. "At that time we will gather again to cut the ribbon and officially dedicate this park so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come."
Part of the design will include artwork by children from the neighborhood. They were asked to imagine and draw what animals might have been seen by Paul Revere during his "midnight ride" in the history of the American Revolution.
"It's what we need more of," Mayor Tom Tait told the Weekly before making his remarks at the podium. "It's not just park space; it's a place where people come together to build community." The Mayor was joined by fellow councilmembers Jordan Brandman, Gail Eastman and Kris Murray.
With speed lumps and a coming park, Guinida Lane residents are looking for other ways to amp up their quality of life. "What we also need is a community center," Rivera adds. "But we've been told there isn't sufficient funds."
In the meanwhile, residents can already smell the carne asada napping on the grill on a Sunday afternoon as children try their hand at the rock climbing station this time next year…
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz