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La Habra’s Vista Grande Park set for major face-lift, new amenities 

La Habra’s 17-acre Vista Grande Park, which has sat unused for decades, is set for a major revamp over the next few years.

City officials recently approved the almost $9 million plan to transform the vacant park space just off West Lambert Road into a bustling community gathering place that will include an amphitheater, playground, sport courts and the city’s first dog park.

“This is going to be a fantastic place,” Robert Ferrier, assistant to the city manager, said. “I think they’re going to love it.”

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While Vista Grande was used in the 1970s and 1980s for baseball games, Ferrier said the park has essentially sat empty since then, because the one-time landfill continued to shift and settle.

“Because it was a former landfill, the ground actually subsided – it sank,” he said. He said he’s heard stories about the land shifting so much that one of the baseball field’s home bases ended up significantly higher than the pitcher’s mound.

So for decades, the lot sat unused, Ferrier said. After the turn of the century, officials started monitoring the land for movement, but also for methane gas generation, a common byproduct from landfills, in the hopes of transforming the space one day.

Ferrier said in 2016 soil engineers confirmed the land settling had stopped, and soon after air quality measurements confirmed there hadn’t been methane released in excess of clean air standards since 2017 – paving way for the project.

City officials in 2019 started working with residents on a vision for the park, Ferrier said, coming up with the idea for the dog park and amphitheater, as well as the playground, basketball and volleyball courts, a workout trail, gazebo and parking.

With official approval and designs almost complete, Ferrier said he expects the city will put out bids for construction this summer, in the hopes of breaking ground before the end of the year. He said the new park, which is bordered by Coyote Creek to the south and is close to a few housing complexes, should take about 18 months to complete.

“We’re probably looking at sometime in calendar year 2024, before they open the park to the public,” Ferrier said.

State and local funding, as well as grant money, have been set aside to pay for the project.


Source: Orange County Register

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