Hundreds turn out for dedication of 32-acre park in Canyon Country
It was a birthday party for the record books, as the City of Santa Clarita marked 20 years of cityhood by dedicating Todd Longshore Park on Whites Canyon Road. More than 600 people turned out for the celebration.
Before the dignitaries took to the podium under a white tent in the grass amphitheater, children ran to try out the slides, swings and sand play areas. Parents played along, some of them braving the swings for a nostalgic sail into the brisk morning air.
Cesar Arevalo, a football coach at Canyon High School, has been watching the progress on the park for the last year. He and his wife, Kerri, had the first picnic at a table near the expansive playground Saturday morning.
“We’ve been watching and waiting,” Cesar said. “This is really cool and so much more than we expected. When you’d see it from the road, you could see there was a lot but there’s so much here.”
The Lions Club grills were kept busy as the nonprofit service group, which provides food service for various city events, flipped burgers and hot dogs. City staff gave the crowd pins commemorating the anniversary and small green and gold footballs with the slogan “Santa Clarita: Where The Good Life Leads You.”
“This is a beautiful Canyon Country morning,” said Mayor Bob Kellar, commenting on the picture-perfect blue skies and warm temperature. Kellar acknowledged the work of one special individual in the crowd, park planner Glenn Bogna, who has spent the last year designing and planning the 32-acre park. The mayor pointed out that, while there are many amenities to the park, much of the natural area around the park was preserved and is now accessible to hikers.
The park is named for Todd Longshore, one of the city’s first parks commissioners, who died in April 2006. His oldest son, Nick, spoke about his father.
“When I think of my dad, I think of ball games and car shows and how he used to talk about his desires for the city and a sports park. I heard stories about how this land was going to be developed with walking trails so people could contemplate their goals and blessings in life,” he said. “On behalf of our family, I’d like to welcome all who will come here and hope they find it a place of respect and reflection and a place to build their own cherished memories.”
Councilwoman Laurene Weste made note of the city’s progress, giving Longshore his share of the credit for their accomplishments.
“When we became a city, we had six parks, zero trails and zero open space,” she said. “Today, we have 20 parks, 30 miles of trails and hundreds of acres of open space. Todd was a great role model for our community and this park is a fitting legacy of his dream for the city.”
Todd Longshore Park is located on Whites Canyon Road at Canyon Crest in Canyon Country.