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Exemplary Projects

Florida establishes Blackwater Heritage State Trail

Milton, Florida

Blackwater Heritage State Trail photo

With Federal Land to Park's help, the State of Florida converted this surplus railroad into the Blackwater Heritage State Trail, an 8.5-mile long scenic corridor. Blackwater is a multi-purpose trail, offering accessible hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and other outdoor recreational experiences as it meanders through both urban and rural areas. Crossing over several creeks, the trail provides a unique opportunity to observe the American Alligator, Florida Pine Snake, river otter, bobcat, red-headed woodpecker, native wildflower meadows, and white-topped pitcher plants. State park officials estimate that the trail contributes $3 million a year to the local economy.

Oregon's Port Orford Heads State Park Acquires Scenic Land

Curry County, Oregon

In January, 2001, 5.2 acres was deeded to the State of Oregon as an addition to Port Orford Heads State Park, Curry County, Oregon. The state parkland had been acquired by the State of Oregon from the Federal government in the mid-1970s through the Federal Lands to Parks and other programs. The park includes several historic structures, which are part of a district now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and scenic overlooks of the Pacific Ocean. This latest parcel was a U.S. Coast Guard Radio Site, formerly retained by Coast Guard and surrounded by the state park. Its acquisition will result in removal of vehicles from the vicinity of the historic structures as well as construction of a parking area, restroom facility, and new access road.

Commander's House, Old San Antonio Arsenal Reused as Senior Center San Antonio, Texas

Commander's House in San Antoni, Texas photo

Built c. 1883, the Commander's House served as living quarters for the Commanding Officer of the Texas Arsenal until 1947. Once the Commander's House was no longer used by the Federal government, it was declared surplus property. In 1972, the Federal Lands to Parks Program orchestrated transfer of the historic site to the City of San Antonio Department of Parks and Recreation for public use.
The Commander's House and surrounding 2.29-acre grounds provide a green space for the entire community. The Commander's House has served as a popular Senior Citizen's Community Center since 1978. The Community Center is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for seniors by providing activities, programs, special events, and low-cost meals to seniors in the greater San Antonio community. Through innovative partnering with local businesses, the Center provides computer, driving, art, music, dance, and pottery classes. Seniors can broaden their horizons by learning to paint, playing guitar, or taking ballroom dancing lessons. Special events and activities range from bunco marathons to Travel Club excursions. Community volunteers provide educational and recreational activities, providing a mutual learning experience by allowing interaction between seniors and other community members.

Historic Spanish Landings Site Converted to Park

San Diego, California

Spanish Landings Park photo

Spanish Landings is a National Historic Landmark Site, commemorating the 1769 meeting of the Gaspar DePortola and Father Junipero Serra expeditions. In 1971, the Federal Lands to Parks Program facilitated the transfer of this 21-acre site along San Diego Bay from the Navy to the Port Authority of San Diego for the creation of Spanish Landings Park. The park features a pedestrian path, bike route, picnic tables, benches and the Callaway Carillon bell tower. The park also provides fishing access to the bay and beautiful views of the San Diego skyline. The Port Authority manages the park as part of a system of fourteen parks around San Diego Bay.

Seattle, Washington, gains major new park from Sand Point Naval Station

Seattle, Washington

playground in the new Seattle park

The transformation of land from the former Sand Point Naval Station Sand Point into a new park will dramatically expand recreational opportunities for residents of the city and region. In 1999, the Federal Lands to Parks Program transferred 93 acres of the former Sand Point Naval Station, closed under the Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1991, to the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. An adjoining 11 acres, formerly part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, was transferred in 1998 and 2000. The Seattle Parks Department plans to integrate the Sand Point land with the adjacent Magnuson Park., containing 196 acres of former Sand Point property transferred in 1975. Sand Point Park, with Magnuson Park, form a large urban park with a restored natural lake, wetlands, a mile-long shoreline, open spaces for informal play, and sports fields. The reuse of historic buildings on the site is creating a new setting for arts, education, and culture programs, including community activities, special events, classes, exhibits, and performances.

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve provides visitors with outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities

DuPage County, Illinois

The 2,400-acre Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve is located in DuPage County, Illinois, one of the fastest growing areas in the United States. Once part of the Argonne National Laboratory, the site was transferred by the Federal Lands to Parks Program to DuPage County in 1973. Located only 20 miles west of downtown Chicago, Waterfall Glen provides visitors with outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities, including some of the best hiking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and bicycling in DuPage County. Four main loop trails, ranging from two to eight and a half miles in length, meander through some of Waterfall Glen's most scenic areas. Waterfall Glen also has several special use areas, including a field for launching model airplanes, a permanently marked orienteering course, and an outdoor education camp used by local youth, scout, and school groups for camping and environmental education. In addition to these recreational uses, the Preserve is home to more than 600 native plant species and 240 animal species.

Roy Wilkins Park, Queens, New York, serves more than 250,000 people each year

Queens, New York City, New York

After the St. Albans Naval Hospital in Queens closed in 1977, the Federal Lands to Parks Program transferred the 53-acre site to the City of New York a Department of Parks and Recreation. The city of New York transformed the site into Roy Wilkins Park, which is visited by more than 250,000 people each year. Roy Wilkins Park serves the local community in many ways, providing athletic fields for soccer, football, softball and baseball, community garden plots for neighbors, open space for carnivals and festivals, a recreation building, weight room, food concessions, and a Black Hall of Fame. The community garden is the largest in New York City, lovingly maintained by 250 families.

Pleasanton Sports and Recreation Park, California, is an Award-winning Park

Pleasanton, CA

In 1971, the Federal Lands to Parks Program transferred 105 acres of surplus land to the city of Pleasanton to develop the Pleasanton Sports and Recreation Park. Pleasanton has spent $6 million at the park, to create 11 soccer fields, 14 baseball fields, 4 lighted softball fields, over 3 miles of walking trails, 2 basketball courts, 2 football fields, a skateboard track, and informal play areas. The park serves 400,000 people each year. The City of Pleasanton has received awards for the park from the State of California and the California Park and Recreation Society.

Southwark/Queen Village Community Garden Brings Neighbors Together

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In 1976, the Queen Village Neighbors Association, began turning the vacant lot at 311-313 Christian Street into a community garden. In 1991, the Federal Lands to Parks Program transferred the .58 acre site to the city of Philadephia. Nearly in the shadow of Philadelphia's "downtown," the garden is the last significant open space in the area, unifying the Southwark and Queen Village neighborhoods. Kids, seniors, and families from all walks of life now garden on the site. The garden has flower beds, an herb garden, a grape arbor, an orchard, and berry patches, as well as grills, picnic tables, and benches for community events.


Los Angeles Developed a Quality Community Recreation Facility at Westwood Park

Los Angeles, California

In the 1970's, the Federal Lands to Parks Program transferred 27 acres in two separate parcels of land from the Veterans Administration to the City of Los Angeles. Protection of this parcel, valued at over $6.5 million, ended a long struggle to build a park in Westwood. The City has developed Westwood Park over 30 years, financing $9 million in improvements with fees assessed against Westwood-area developers. The park is a well-equipped community recreation facility, with a 25-meter indoor swimming pool, a gymnasium with basketball, volleyball, tennis, and racquetball courts, a jogging trail, a soccer field, picnic facilities, classrooms, a clubroom, showers, offices, and a kitchen.

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