A March 7 letter to the editor by Molly Bang expressed confusion about Vibrant Livermore’s reference to a Grand Central Park. The confusion is understandable and I want to help clarify. The Grand Central Park and Stockmen’s Park are two separate parks. They are adjoining and together would provide a continuous green space from the Bankhead Plaza to L Street. Stockmen’s Park is a wonderful solution to a long-term debt the city has had to the Stockmen’s Rodeo Association. The agreement that gives us Stockmen’s Park enables the City to locate a significant number of affordable senior and veteran housing units on the old rodeo grounds in exchange for this park honoring Livermore’s western heritage. Stockmen’s Park however is much different than the Grand Central Park advocated for by The Community Group. Stockmen’s Park is a horseshoe-shaped flat ½ acre grassy space surrounded by benches and trees and is designed to be a performance area, much like the flat open grassy area in front of the Bankhead Plaza’s outdoor stage.
The Grand Central Park will start on the western edge of Stockmen’s Park and continue to L Street, and if built, could have winding paths, play areas for children, shaded seating, interactive history kiosks and art panels or other types of displays. This is proposed as an activated Central Park that would engage, inspire, provide respite and tie together all the other uses in the surrounding plan.
During the public outreach for the downtown development, open space ranked #3, only behind parking and community character as the most desired elements for the downtown development. The downtown development needs both Stockmen’s Park and the Grand Central Park. There is an ad in today’s edition of the paper that shows an artist’s conception of what such a Central Park could be.