Julie (left) and Diane (right)
Julie (left) and Diane (right)

For over 30 years, generations of children raised in the International District have allowed their imaginations to run wild while playing in the International Children’s Park. Tucked away in a quiet corner of the neighborhood at Seventh Avenue South and South Lane Street, it is easy to miss because of its size and landscaping, which partially obscures view into this charming pocket park. This is precisely one of the reasons why the park is undergoing renovation. The goals of the renovation are to improve access, safety, neighborhood livability and ultimately increase usage by the community. The park was closed on September 6, 2011 for construction and will be reopened in early 2012 – just in time to help us welcome the Year of the Dragon. We asked residents what this park renovation means to them.
 
Diane Liu, 10th grader:
 “In the old park, my friend Julie (see next quote) and I liked to use our imagination to pretend the dragon sculpture was real or that the merry-go-around was a time machine. With the new play equipment, playing in the park will be even more fun.”

Julie Yuan, 10th grader:
 “The park is part of my childhood and it is important to me. I can’t wait to see how the park will transform and the new play equipment. I hope that it [the play equipment] is not so miniature that I can’t play on it.”

Sherry Chen, mother of two — on why she supports the park renovation:
 “The park is outdated. With upgraded benches and play structures, I look forward to a clean safe place for my children as well as the neighbors to play. I can’t wait to see what the design I’ve seen on paper looks like in real life.”

Liu C. Lu, grandmother of three — on why renovating the park is important:  “Renovating the park is critical. Too many children these days sit at home and play on their computers. If we give them a place to play, they can become more active and get more exercise, something necessary for child development and growth. And with the new park design and open spaces that allows for a multitude of activities such as Tai Chi or gatherings, I can get my exercise, too.”

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