Chicano Park gets makeover

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SAN DIEGO -- City officials unveiled new improvements at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan Thursday afternoon.

The City of San Diego partnered with Urban Corps, a nonprofit organization, to obtain a $1.08 million grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held before families enjoyed the new amenities.

"We identified what the community wanted to see out here as far as improvements at Chicano Park,” said City Principal Planner Brian Schoenfisch.

The improvements included two new playgrounds, an adult fitness area, a handball court, improved landscaping and a skate area.

"We want families to come out and feel safe in their neighborhood,” said San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.

Residents say they hope the new improvements will improve the reputation of the park, often thought of as a place surrounded by violence and gangs.

"Families would find dirty needles in the sand...those are the types of stories we heard,” said Robert Chavez, CEO of Urban Corps.

The sand, considered an environmental health hazard, was replaced with rubber surfacing, an alternative that is easy for kids to play on.

City officials say some of the equipment at the park was 30 years old and needed serious repairs.

They hope that now families will enjoy the atmosphere, culture and, of course, the murals.

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