South Gate residents and officials gathered at the Municipal Auditorium in Saturday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that celebrated the large number of infrastructure improvements made to the park over the last year.
Despite the somewhat heavy morning rain, guests enjoyed the green scenery under the auditorium roof, with complimentary cupcakes, sandwiches and coffee.
"This project means a lot to the community,” said South Gate Mayor Maria Davila. “It was needed.”
Davila said most of the funding for the improvements came from grants, such as that from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The bulk of the funding for the improvements came from from the block grant program, which provided $3.5 million over the past three years.
South Gate Park was aging, and improvements were needed to continue to have the greenspace successfully serve the community.
“We realized that the park had grown up over the years," said director of parks and recreation. “We started looking at the park overall, and what needed to be improved.”
The city was able to create improved pathways, a new playground, more public restrooms, as well as a bandstand for the park.
Longtime resident users of South Gate Park were overjoyed with the new additions to the park.
“I walk [the park] every day and it’s beautiful,” said Toni Martinez, a South Gate resident of 33 years. "It's emotional to see."
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