November 9, 2020 12:25 PM
by Andy Agle
Update: The opening of Historic Belmar Park will be commemorated in a free virtual opening ceremony on Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 3 p.m. Learn more and register>
Historic Belmar Park commemorates a site that was home to a thriving African American community in Santa Monica until the 1950s and will be an essential addition to our network of unique public spaces focused on outdoor recreation and community wellbeing with 3.5 acres of multipurpose space.
Santa Monica is proud that the Belmar History + Art Project will be the inaugural project to showcase the California Coastal Commission’s new environmental and social justice policy. Specifically, the Park will commemorate the history of Santa Monica’s Belmar community – displaced from and once thriving on the same land.
As part of the Coastal Commission’s special condition for the development of the Historic Belmar Park, an commemorative artwork and historical exhibition is required to be in place before the park can be opened for public use. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project has encountered delays to the previously established timeline. Currently, the historical exhibition is scheduled to be installed in late Fall, with the public artwork by April Banks, A Resurrection in Four Stanzas, scheduled to be installed in February 2021. When we are able to open the Park and reveal the full Belmar History + Art Project, this project will be a meaningful representation of our commitment to civic engagement, healing and restoration, and an understanding our own local history. We anticipate the Park’s opening with the completion of A Resurrection in Four Stanzas in February 2021.
The City shares community desires to maximize open space during the pandemic, and we look forward to opening the Park to the community as soon as possible. In the meantime, staff is working across departments to open as much open space as possible for our community consistent with public health guidelines and restrictions. To that end, here are some of Santa Monica's other community recreation opportunities:
- Playground Partnership fields and playgrounds at Edison, Franklin, Grant, McKinley, Will Rogers, Roosevelt, and SMASH are available after school hours and on weekends
- City playgrounds with on-site or nearby handwashing facilities are now open
- City playing fields are open to youth sports
- Tennis courts are open to reserved and free use
- The Cove Skate Park and Swim Center are open, and
- We have expanded adult fitness opportunities, including on the Santa Monica Pier.
Recently City Council appropriated Parks and Recreation Impact Fee funding to repair the multi-purpose sports field at Airport Park, which is currently closed due to turf concerns. Our Public Works team anticipates that repair of the field will be completed by the end of November. Re-opening the field at Airport Park is a priority for the City given the timeline for opening of Historic Belmar Park.
When we are able to open Historic Belmar Park, we hope you will join us to celebrate this new Park, its expansion of our outdoor recreation space, and its showcasing of how our community can build from our past to create our future together.
Director of Housing & Economic Development