Santa Monica Lookout
|CalParksBoard Gives Santa Monica Thumbs Up|
By Jason Islas
The nonprofit organization named Parks & Rec Chair Phil Brock Parks & Recreation Commissioner of the year for 2013 and applauded Santa Monica’s new “Universally Accessible Playground,” naming it the best special park project in the state.
“I'm humbled and honored,” said Brock, who has been on the Commission since 2003.
During his tenure, Brock has been a vocal advocate of expanding greenspace Santa Monica, one of the most densely populated cities in the region.
Brock said that while on the Commission, he has opened six new parks, advocated for safer pedestrian & bicycle paths and opened a skateboard park.
He called parks the “lungs of the city,” adding that they help “unify our neighborhoods.”
Most recently, Brock has begun calling for the City to open up a 1.2 acre patch of greenspace to the public.
Currently, the grassy knoll on the city’s east side is fenced off due to security concerns because it is above the Mt. Olivet Reservoir.
He also said that the Commission is still pushing for a children’s playground on the north of Palisades Park.
Santa Monica’s newest park, which opened last July, also got the attention of the CalParksBoard.
The $1 million park located on the beach near the city’s southern border, is designed to accommodate children no matter if they are able-bodied, in a wheelchair or dealing with some other physical or cognitive disability.
“I think it was a long-term goal of our commission and Santa Monica to have a playground that children of all abilities can use,” Brock said.
“We think it's important in the City, important for the state and important for the nation,” Brock said.
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