El Sereno residents play name games over new parkland*

Rendering from NameYourSpace90032/Facebook

It took about 30 years to negotiate a deal and raise the money to transform a piece of unused Caltrans property into El Sereno parkland.   But apparently coming up with a name for this new space has also proven challenging.  Later today, El Sereno residents will get their last chance to vote on names for the 1.3-acres of land near the corner Concord and Lowell avenues, a spot known as the S-Curve,  as part of a process that has been extended amid community complaints. Complicating matters is the fact that this new recreation area, which will be operated by city’s Department of Recreation and Parks, can’t be called a “park.”

Under  the terms of the lease with Caltrans,  the name of the new recreation area can include such words as “open space,’  “playground,”  “fields” or “garden.” But just don’t call it a park.

But after taking suggested names, The Trust for Public Land, which is overseeing the construction of the park  – sorry, make that open space –  has been forced to extend the naming process  after some residents complained that not  enough people had gotten a chance to recommend and vote on names. Then, some folks wanted to know who would be eligible to vote on the  names.

Finally, after distributing flyers reading “Final Name Vote” and “Last Chance!,” officials will hold a vote today between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the  property. Only  El Sereno residents can vote and, as the flyer makes clear, they get “only 1 vote for person.”

Among the 40 names on the ballot:

Angels Watching Zone
El Sereno Arroyo Garden
El Sereno Fun in the Sun
Emery Field
Field of Hope
Hummingbird Playground
Jardin de Paz
Vecino’s Corner
Under His Wings Playground

Of course, this vote is not really final. The most popular name based on today’s election will then be submitted to board of Recreation and Parks for final approval.

* Update:  And the winner of the El Sereno name-that-green-space election is … The Eastsider


  1. I grew up a block from there, we used to ride our BMX bikes in that lot. The area was full of trash, construction material, broken bottles etc. Glad to see they’re going to clean it up. There’s also a large empty lot across the street about 100 yards up Concord Ave, are there any plans for that lot?

  2. Its going to be the local hang out for ESR or Lowell.

  3. The only reason it had to be done three times was because a few people who are not proud to live in El Sereno wanted to keep all the info about meetings to decide the name to themselves. It seems that the Concerned Neighbors of El Sereno group was only concerned about getting the name “Emery Field” or “Emery” whatever for the Open Space. These folk identify themselves more with Alhambra than El Sereno, but they live in El Sereno. Even more stupid of this group is that there is an Emery Park in Alhambra already, not more than a few blocks away. I’m glad that people complained and these Concerned Neighbors Against El Sereno were not allowed to name the area themselves. Whichever name wins is not as important as the process is fair and un-bias, that’s the point.

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