Central Park South Reopens, Beautification Complete

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Article and Photography by DEBORAH BRANCIC

4:02 am | October 30, 2013

City officials and representatives from the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and the Tournament of Roses gathered in Central Park early Tuesday afternoon to officially reopen the southern end of the park, with its newest landscaping and beautification projects completed.

Mayor Bill Bogaard held a pair of scissors up to a large yellow ribbon, as he, Councilmember Steve Madison, City Manager Michael Beck, Tournament of Roses CEO William Flynn, and Scotts Miracle-Gro Vice President of Sales John McCarthy posed for pictures.

“I am delighted to be here and celebrate this partnership, which is called White Suits Green Thumbs,” said Bogaard. “It’s an initiative that strives to make meaningful and lasting enhancements to city parks throughout the city of Pasadena.”

The mayor said the origin of the Central Park project was a collaboration between the Tournament of Roses and Scotts Miracle-Gro, who had contacted the city and expressed an interest in partnering on park beautification projects.

“At Miracle-Gro, we encourage everyone to express themselves in their own piece of earth,” said McCarthy. “All it takes is just one plant to get started, so we hope that this refurbishment inspires each and every one of you to take it outside a bit more often and enjoy this very special park with friends and family.”

In a generous gesture by Miracle-Gro, people who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony were sent home with gift bags containing gardening items.

Tournament CEO Flynn also said the park beautification was important for the community as a whole.

“Having been one of those parents that raise children in Pasadena,” he said, “I will tell you that from all the parents that will continue to visit the parks of Pasadena, this is a lifesaver to have a park system in Pasadena. I have experienced that first hand.”

“These parks are wonderful amenities, and this park in particular in the middle of our city represents a lot about what Pasadena’s all about in terms of family activity, public sacred spaces and the like,” said Madison.

The area of Central Park that was refurbished was located in the southern end of the park.

“The project areas consists of the planting areas adjacent to and north of El Centro de Accion [Social] facility and the former horseshoe pit area east of the building,” said Bogaard. “The project components include demolition and removal of deteriorated concrete walls, concrete and natural walkways, handrails and sod, retrofitting the irrigation system for water efficiency, and construction of concrete mow bands to formalize planting areas surrounding the building.”

The City of Pasadena purchased the land on which Central Park is located in 1902. It is home to bowling courts, a clubhouse, picnic areas, a rose garden, a children’s playground, and other park amenities.

“Central Park is actually one of the oldest parks in Pasadena,” said Beck. “It dates back to the early 20th century, so it’s great to see an opportunity to refresh it and we appreciate the value that Scotts Miracle-Gro and the Tournament of Roses have brought to this particular park.”

Central Park is not the last park that will be receiving upgrades, according to the mayor. The White Suits Green Thumbs partnerships has more projects in store.

“Scotts’ relationship with the Tournament and with the City is ongoing, it’s not just something that we’re celebrating today and we’ll go on to other things,” he said. “There’s a plan for another park to be celebrating, perhaps a year from now, in a similar kind of a ceremony.”

Previous parks to receive upgrades as part of the partnership were Brenner Park, Hamilton Park, and Robinson Park.