Non-Profit Sponsor Is Huge Step for Point Loma Park at End of Avenida de Portugal

by on June 17, 2015 · 2 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach, Organizing

Pt Loma Pocket Park aerialOn the Way to Our Park

By Jon Linney and Don Sevrens / Special to the OB Rag

Our walk-in park at the upper end of Avenida de Portugal is moving forward. Big time.

Pt Loma Pock Park 01-ed2We have a nonprofit sponsor. United Portuguese S.E.S., by a vote of the board of directors, has agreed to take on that role. What’s more, they will be our financial custodian, processing all private donations through a segregated account.

The agreement is a milestone on our path to success. It fulfills a city requirement that we have a nonprofit sponsor and means all donations are tax-deductible. Further, with UPSES serving also as the financial custodian, every penny of every donation will go directly to the park. There will be no administrative fees.

Pt Loma Pock Park 01-ed1

Jon linney, left, a community activist, and Carl Silva, President of united Portuguese s.e.s., are all smiles about working together on a community park.

The sponsorship with the Portuguese community is a natural fit. Consider just the name of the street the park is on: Avenida de Portugal.

Carl Silva, in his second term as president of UPSES, put it this way:

“We are proud to be the nonprofit sponsor for a community effort to create a walk-in park for the enjoyment of all. This street has been the heart of the community for more than 100 years. The next 100 years will see more enhancements with the coming park being the first.”

The park has a new working name: Portuguese Village Park. There are fans of other names as well. We have plenty of time to come up with a name the community likes and the city approves.

We were honored to be one of the stops June 13 on the first Little Portugal Historic Walking Tour led by the Portuguese Historical Center. Further, we were invited to have a table at the Dia de Portugal bazaar at the Social Hall where perhaps a thousand people learned more about the park.

Recapping, the site is at the upper end of Avenida de Portugal and bordered by Canon Street though it is five to 10 feet above the heads of passing motorists. It is two-thirds of an acre, is owned by city Park and Recreation Department, and is a designated park site. As part of the 1987 Community Plan, the park is eligible for developer fee financing.

This will be a passive, walk-in park with pleasing innovations. No ballfields, water-guzzling lawns, restroom, concrete walkways or asphalt parking lots. Instead a park that is part water conservation garden with lush, colorful plants and part historical resource with placards and centerpiece statues reminding of the community’s past and culture. No massive tot lot is planned, but there will be a feature inviting kids to use their imagination.

Ultimately, what goes in the park will be determined by the public at two workshops to be scheduled probably later this year.

This will be a public/private partnership. Enlightened officials – both elected policy-makers and staff — get it. The Peninsula is quite lacking in park space and is 600 acres or more below the norm. The good news is that the economy is improving and our public representatives have options that were lacking during the depths of the Great Recession.

Look for more positive developments in the future.

We are excited about having the structure and the formal identity we did not have before: An Independent Park Committee in conjunction with United Portuguese S.E.S., our nonprofit sponsor. We have a dozen or so neighbors, activists and professionals assisting. Plus an interested contact list growing into the hundreds.

Many have asked about donating. Checks can be made out to UPSES/Park Committee and mailed to UPSES/Park Committee, 2818 Avenida de Portugal, San Diego, CA 92106.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nikki June 17, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Great work Jon and others.


Kathleen Blavatt June 18, 2015 at 6:05 am

Congratulations! The parcel had been marked as future parkland for a long time. At one point it was about to be sold . Kevin Faulconer’s staff was reminded that this part of Roseville was part of the N. Bay Redevelopment Area and had not had any public parks added in the area, but had densified housing units there. It would be nice for the Roseville residents if some of the Tax Increment money the City received for years would pay for the park. It will be nice seeing a park there when driving down Cannon St.


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