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The original item was published from 5/23/2022 11:08:57 AM to 5/23/2022 4:54:14 PM.

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Posted on: May 23, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Unidad Park Organizing Committee Members Honored

Unidad Park Community Members

As work continues to rebuild and improve Unidad Community Park, 1500 E. Hadley Ave., the committee who organized residents to help build the park 21 years ago was recently honored by the City of Las Cruces.

Mementos of Unidad Park were recently presented to members of the Community Playground Steering Committee who included Gil Padilla, Committee Coordinator, Guy Floyd, Carla Floyd, Kathy Stout, Ed Fridenstine and Cindy Aragon. Together, the Committee rallied community support for the project and recruited residents to volunteer their time and efforts to build Unidad Community Park in 2001.

“There is a lot of community pride in Unidad Park because it was completely built by the community,” Padilla said. “When we started building the park we had over a thousand people working on each of the two or three weekends it took to get it all completed. It has become such a positive thing for our community because it provides a place where families and our children can go. It’s a happy place.”

Unidad Park truly is a community park. Every bit of the park, in what is popularly known as the Hadley Complex, was built by Las Cruces residents. All materials and labor to build the park were donated by city residents, businesses and organizations who wanted a park for Las Cruces children and families to enjoy.

Twenty-one years later, Unidad Park still is beloved by many city residents. Picnics, birthday parties, and family gatherings are still celebrated at Unidad Park.

However, Unidad Park has begun to show its age and it is now being rebuilt and refurbished as part of the 2018 General Obligation (GO) Bond Project. The cost to rebuild the park is $1.45 million.

Reconstruction of Unidad Park consists of replacement of its wood playground and installation of a splash pad.

Certain key pieces of the original Unidad Park will be saved and will continue to highlight its character and charm. Those include:

  • The “Twin Towers,” which are significant because the park was built shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and in Pennsylvania. Unidad Park’s Twin Towers have served as Las Cruces’ memorial to 9/11.
  • Portions of the park’s fencing which includes handprints of some of the families who helped raise funds to build the original park.
  • Some wood slats of the fence surrounding the park.
  • The sundial at the park.
  • The replications of the St. Genevieve steeples, which have been part of Unidad Park’s playground.

The public volunteered its time, efforts and talent to build Unidad Park in 2001, and in 2018 they once again supported community improvements by voting for a GO Bond. The next GO Bond election will be held later this year. City Council will discuss projects to be on the ballot at an upcoming work session.

Padilla said he is heartened by efforts to rejuvenate and improve Unidad Park.

“All good things have to end, but all the efforts and interests by the community have shown that by working together good things can come together and can be even better.”

For information about improvements and restoration of Unidad Park, and the status of other GO Bond progects, go to the GO Bond webpage at https://www.las-cruces.org/1892/General-Obligation-Bond-Projects. Information is also available by emailing clcengage@las-cruces.org.

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