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Run-down Lagos de Moreno park may get makeover

3 years ago by in ( City Guide , News , Old/New , Schools , Welcome to Brea )

A better photo of "Preliminary Concept" of a Revitalized Lagos de Moreno park and Laurel lower playground that was presented at the forum. Even if you couldn't attend, you can still share your thoughts. Got feedback? email wearelistening@bousd.k12.ca.us.


    As posted on Revitalize the Heart of Brea: Lagos de Moreno Park - Laurel Elementary (Facebook).


    Is it a park or a school playground?

      Lagos de Moreno Park is also Laurel Elementary School’s lower grades playground and should receive a D for depressing.

        The 1.5-acre property at Laurel is owned by the Brea Olinda Unified School District, but was dedicated as a city park nearly 45 years ago when Lagos de Moreno became Brea’s first sister city.

          Until 2004, the school district and the city had a joint-use agreement for the park, but never renewed it. Regardless, Superintendent Skip Roland and Community Services Director Chris Emeterio indicated that the two entities still honor the former agreement and the public is welcome to use the park after school hours.

            A Google search shows Lagos de Moreno Park at Flower and Birch streets. The city’s website refers to it as a shared-used park at Laurel Elementary School.

              Diane Stites and Mary Martinez, Laurel PTA representatives, have worked for several years to bring attention and help in renovating the park/playground.

                In 2007, Laurel’s PTA had $5,000 for playground equipment and began discussions with the school district and city about support and options. They applied for grants and sought community support.

                  Around 2010, the PTA joined an online Pepsi Grant Competition with other parks in need around the country, but they didn’t win.

                    In the meantime, the park/playground doesn’t look as if it belongs in a city noted for its attractive, modern parks. Years ago, there were barbecues and picnic areas in the park, instead of play equipment that looks leftover from the 1960s. There are no drinking fountains or restrooms. Even worse, it is not handicap-accessible from the Flower/Birch entrance with stairs.

                      On Aug. 21, a community meeting was jointly held by the city and school district. Approximately 50 people attended, including four City Council members, school board members and one council candidate plus a few Laurel teachers and their new principal, Heather Bojorquez.

                        Emeterio and Roland conducted the meeting. They showed a rendering of early concept plans for the park/playground and explained that although there was no district funding, the meeting’s purpose was to gather input on what the community wants for the park. Roland estimated that a first phase would cost between $90,000 and $120,000 and would include closing the present entrance and putting in an accessible one from the alley parking area.

                          Some attendees asked questions regarding the funding sources and made suggestions for amenities such as drinking fountains, restrooms and safer play areas with some type of shading.

                            “Recognizing the outreach meeting was the first chance for stakeholders to review preliminary plans for a new, improved park, I absolutely think this project provides a great opportunity for the city and the school district to partner together for the benefit of Laurel students as well as the entire community,” Councilwoman Christine Marick said.

                              The city and Brea Olinda Unified have other shared-use parks, such as Brea Junior High School, Country Hills Park and the Brea Sports Park.

                                Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at daxoncomm@earthlink.net.
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  • Carolyn Campbell

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