Hillcrest Park in Fullerton has proven to be a must visit location in Fullerton since 1920 but it has been in need of a major renovation.
“Hillcrest Park is the best example of something that has been long ignored and has had a bunch of issues over the past decades.” Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz said, “we just broke ground last week on respecting the historic nature of Hillcrest Park because it’s on the national register of historic places.”
In 2010, the City of Fullerton teamed with Mia Lehrer + associates and community members to create a master plan for developments in Hillcrest Park. They published the finished plan in 2011, which is occasionally updated.
The Fullerton City Council moved forward to begin plans in March and Lions Field was one of the first part of the park to get improved.
“Lions Field, the sports field that’s at the very edge of Hillcrest, was just in horrible condition, the hill was sliding down, and literally you could walk from the hill on to the roof of the bathrooms,” Felz said.
On September 20, 2016 the groundbreaking ceremony kicked off the next wave of construction and “It looks like the date in which it will be finished will be around April or early May next year.” Christina Garcia, Fullerton Parks and Recreation, said.
“The project is beginning and consists of restoring the fountain by the flag pole and grading and sodding the front lawn off of harbor,” Garcia said, “also we’re building exercise steps starting from the Izaak Walton Cabin and a bridge from Harbor Blvd. to the front lawn.”
There are also further planned developments that include work on more trails in the park.
“Some of the other things we’re trying to do is create connectivity from the bottom to the top because it’s an amazing elevation change and the views up there are stunning,” Felz said, “so we’re building the staircases that connect the bottom to the top and [we] are integrating all the trails.”
The result of the trails will hopefully create more use of the park, which Felz said the city wants.
“What you’ll see is a lot more activity people walking, running and exercising in the park.” Felz said, “activity is the number one positive thing you can bring to a public facility.”
The improvements on the park will hopefully fulfill the goal of the city which, according to the Hillcrest Master Plan, is to “acknowledge Hillcrest Park as a significant community asset and reclaim its rightful place as the city’s premier park.”
“It’s a crown jewel, literally the middle of the city for everybody,” Felz said, “the plan is a really well thought out and exciting plan to renovate the park.”