On any given day at the just-remodeled Lincoln Park, Long Beach’s oldest civic space, skateboarders and dog walkers roam in the same spots where genteel gentlemen and ladies used to stroll at the turn of the 20th century. To help re-activate the park in a contemporary context, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) became a founding partner of a newly-formed Lincoln Park Collaborators Group (LPCG), whose mission is to continue the park’s tradition as a place for people to gather, recreate, and relax.
“The goal is to try new things, see what sticks, and understand what the public would like to see happen in the park moving forward,” said Sinead Finnerty-Pyne, Director of Marketing and Special Projects at Studio One Eleven, the firm that is at the center of LPCG’s efforts.
In addition to collaborating with DLBA, Finnerty-Pyne and Studio One Eleven’s Senior Urban Designer Isha Patel are working with Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine, the Billie Jean King Main Library, City Fabrick, and Long Beach Community Foundation.
The project is made possible and supported by The Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund held at the Long Beach Community Foundation.
“It’s fun to be part of a group of engaged individuals all working together to unlock the potential of our city’s major investment in Lincoln Park,” said Broc Coward, DLBA Chief Operating Officer. “In the past six weeks, the group has made significant progress in several areas including programming and marketing, launching an Instagram page (@LincolnparkLB) and most recently a new website (lincolnparklb.com).”
Coward added that DLBA Safety Ambassadors also have been assisting the group through daily visits to Lincoln Park. Safety Ambassadors discourage vandalism, pick up large items of litter, collect park user data, and submit items to GoLongBeach – much like their role throughout the business district.
The LPCG kicked off an experimental six-week phase during the summer. Finnerty-Pyne explained: “We had the great pleasure of kicking off our program with a week-long Art Renzei Sculpture Festival, and KCRW’s Summer Nights Concert, which was an epic event that brought people out from all over the region, on one of the hottest days of the year, to gather, play games, and to listen and dance to music by world-class female DJ’s.
“Part of our Lincoln Park activation plan is to have a mixture of regularly occurring weekly classes with mini events that occur more sporadically,” she continued, mentioning the following recurring activities:
Dog Obedience Classes 3X/week by Charlie DiBono
Weekly Bollywood Dance classes held by Isha Patel
Weekly Zumba classes held by LB Parks and Recreation
Workshops/Storytimes held on Library Terrace 3x per week by Main Library
Monthly Picnics in the Park – Music, Food trucks, Lawn Games
Variety-style, family-friendly gatherings such as puppet shows, garden parties, interactive workshops and more
One of LPCG’s upcoming programs will be “Tricks for Treats,” a family-friendly Halloween Costume Pup Parade happening on Saturday, October 29 from 2pm to 3:30pm. For this event the pups will learn some new tricks (dog trainer Charlie DiBono will be working with dogs onsite) and show them off in a parade down the Library Terrace. “Top Dog” will win a Grand Prize donated by Bruce’s Empty Bowl pet store. Local illustrator Kazz Morohashi will live-sketch the pets and their owners and send a free digital copy of the completed art to all participants.
LPCG is also in the early stages of organizing a Christmas Craft event with local artisans to be held in conjunction with the Walk and Roll Downtown Walkable Corners program.
Finnerty-Pyne is proud to be working with Studio One Eleven’s LPCG collaborators, who share her commitment to the park’s future. “We meet weekly,” she said. “We have open, honest dialog. We share a common goal of making Lincoln Park a great community social resource in our urban core.
“Studio One Eleven will continue our commitment to the park’s future beyond this initial phase,” Finnerty-Park added. “This park has the potential to be a space of healing, a space of creativity, a place of transformation. We feel privileged to be a part of this experiment.”
All Lincoln Park programs are FREE and open to the public. We hope to see you at the park soon!