By Vince Meehan
A non-profit foundation has been started as a way to raise needed funds for the new North Park Mini Park, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021. This park will be located in the empty lot behind the iconic North Park Theatre. The North Park Business and Neighborhood Foundation (NPBANF), a 501c3, has tasked themselves with raising funds for the new park with a unique paver program.
The pavers are essentially bricks, which will be laid into a courtyard area of the park once it is finished. Each paver will feature a personalized message from whoever buys it, and will become a permanent feature of the park. Chris Clark is the President of the NPBANF, and like its other members, is a community resident who is dedicated to continuing the revitalization that North Park has seen in the last 20 years.
“The North Park Business and Neighborhood Foundation (NPBANF) is a way to connect North Park businesses and the residential community, and enhance the quality of life for both,” Clark said.
Clark has been an extremely active member of the neighborhood for several years, including being a driving force behind the free Bird Rock Summer Concert Series as part of the North Park Community Association.
The pavers will be used to fill a plaza area inside the park featuring the messages and tributes contributed by the community members. The pavers start at $125 for a 4 x 8 inch brick, which includes a short personalized inscription. You can upsize to an 8 x 8 paver for $225, and add $50 to that to include a logo on your paver. These pavers will be a permanent park of the park and create a legacy for those involved. All paver inscriptions will have to be approved by the NPBANF who reserves the right to reject profanity, intolerance or any other objectionable content.
The North Park Mini Park is one of the last projects credited to a now defunct California State redevelopment program where blighted land was purchased for future neighborhood improvement ideas. The new park site could have been sold for a residential multi-family project, but instead the redevelopment committee voted to use it for open space. Consultants at MIG, Inc and KOA Engineering Corporation were hired to create a plan and conduct outreach to the community. Senator Toni Atkins allocated $1.25 million to the park, which helped seal the deal.
Angela Landsberg, the Executive Director of North Park Main Street, noted “The North Park Mini Park is a valuable addition to our community. The pavers will provide funding for park enhancements and give donors an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy in their community.”
She added that the funds being raised for the park will go to providing the umbrellas, benches and other amenities that are not covered in the redevelopment budget.
The new park will serve as a community hub, which will host movie nights, special events, live music and the weekly North Park Farmer’s Market.
Pavers are now on sale until Sept. 1 and can be purchased at northparkminipark.com.