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New Park Opening Near Downtown

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The long awaited Vista Hermosa Park near Downtown in City West is opening this Saturday. Apparently, it's the first new park in Downtown since 1895, according to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy who bought the land and has been working with the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority on the 14-acre park that seeks to recreate the natural environment through trails, wetlands, chaparral and fishing ponds. There's also a FIFA-regulation soccer field, picnic areas, and an environmentally-themed children’s play area.

The land and park, however, have not come without controversy. Vista Hermosa sits on top of a earthquake fault whereconstruction stopped at the Belmont Learning Complex (the part of the school that did get built is expected to open this fall). Then earlier this year, some locals protested the park saying they were excluded from the development process. It's also "ugly", according to one person who hasn't given the park a chance to grow into its own.

Vista Hermosa Park is located at 100 N. Toluca St. "Due to its location on a hillside over a series of split levels," explained Stephen Friday at Angelenic, "the recreation center is designed to create a “mountain watershed experience” and should offer sweeping views of the Downtown skyline." The SMMC "wanted to bring the features of the national parks in the mountains to the center of the city," Dash Stolarz of the conservancy told the Downtown News.

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