By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
When the new year dawns next January, Garden Grove should be getting a large new park. Well, not new exactly, but remade in such a way that even its name is uncertain.
“I’m not sure what it will be called,” said Kimberly Huy, community services director for the City of Garden Grove, about the 23-acre recreational area at Haster Street and Lampson Avenue. Twin Lakes Freedom Park has been its name for decades, but with a massive makeover, it may be worthy of a new title.
“It’s going to be a great addition to the open space for the residents of the city,” said Huy, “but especially for those living on the east side of town.”
Born as Twin Lakes, the facility is a flood control basin disguised – or dually used – as a park. Garden Grove’s second largest parkland, it has also been a bit of a nature preserve, with two small “lakes” and an island in the middle of an area ringed by a jogging trial and a few other amenities.
But the park, because of its location and the lack of lighting, has become a bit of an eyesore and law enforcement problem.
Now the County of Orange has stepped in and – in cooperation with the City of Garden Grove – is remaking the park-flood control center. The former “twin” lakes will become one basin, a new storm water pump station will be built and other amenities added, including a new, larger parking lot, jogging trail, park shelters, exercise stations and other features.
Part of the basin is being filled in to add a two-acre recreational field that will accommodate soccer pitches.
“We’re about one-third of the way through the construction,” according to Debbie Kroner, spokesperson for the Orange County Public Works. “It should be completed by end of the year, or the start of the new year. It’s impossible to give an exact date because of weather and other factors.”
Construction started in the summer of 2012.
The $25.2 million project is funded by the Orange County Flood Control District, OC Parks and by the state Department of Water Resources.