The saga of the rejuvenation of Silver Lake’s Bellevue Park (map) is a loooong one, stretching back to 1996 when voters approved Proposition K, which designated $2 million worth of improvements to it. It was six years later that a citizens committe was finally empowered to decide the specific upgrades, according to a 2004 update on City Council President Eric Garcetti’s website:
After conducting outreach, they settled on landscaping, a pathway, a new picnic area, a sidewalk for Marathon, and field improvements including lights.
The park was closed to the public in June of 2004 as work got underway, and it was initially expected to remain off-limits until July of this year. That’s a heckuva long time for this densely populated, open-space starved community to have to wait, but thankfully the waiting is done and so is all the work that went into its wonderful renewal — and several months ahead of schedule.
Walking with the dog to the north of the park this morning, instead of the closed signs and locked gates to which I’d long become accustomed, I spied an opened access way and the distant sound of children laughing and playing somewhere within. So into it we vbventured and found the place a pristine pocket of paradise. Along the new jogging path the dog and I made our way past the two little league baseball fields, one sporting a brand new electric scoreboard. Then it was over a verdant knoll to the spanking new play areas where a mother pushed her child on a swing and some older kids wrestled and chased each other on the grass. Closer to the park’s south border at Marathon Street I found the virgin picnic area (pictured above) with as-yet-unfired barbecues and tables not yet marred by the inevitable spills and tags.
Welcome back Bellevue and bravo to all who had a hand in bringing you back to life!