Fall Fundraiser to Renew Guadiana Park
By Signe Hammer
The Friends of Guadiana Park Fall Fundraiser Saturday night will raise money to support the renewal of the small, heavily used Guadiana Park. The park accommodates young Mexican families, student groups, courting couples, dog walkers, and strollers and bench-sitters of all ages. Sadly, its walkways and plaza have become cracked and uneven, its grass is worn to bare dirt and, until this spring, its beautiful, centuries-old mesquite trees struggled to survive parasites and smothering epiphytes.
Friends of Guadiana Park Fall Fundraiser
Sat, Oct 18, 6-9pm
Mezquite 7.5, Guadiana
To halt the blight and turn the park around, a group of neighbors formed Amigos del Parque Guadiana/Friends of Guadiana Park (APG/FGP). After the city’s Ecology Department cleaned the paixtles and mistletoe from the mesquites, the ancient trees leafed and bloomed.
Now comes the Master Plan. Based on input from Guadiana residents, other park users, and the relevant city departments, the FGP Steering Committee has been working hard to plan the park’s renewal. The plan envisions a fully accessible park with smooth, easily navigated walkways and plazas, well-placed lighting and benches, tables for chess or checkers, ground cover for children and picnickers, and restored trees and plantings, including new gardens with succulents and plants that attract bees and butterflies. Come see the proposed Master Plan for the Park, meet the neighbors, give us your input, and support Guadiana Park!
The fundraiser site, Mezquite 7.5, is located between calles Guadiana and Grillo, right across the street from the tiny Gustos Garden. In addition to viewing the proposed master plan for the park, attendees can immortalize their favorite person or pet on the Walk of Fame and bid on fabulous silent auction items, including a cooking class for four from La Casa Olvera, a 400-peso gift certificate from Hecho en Mexico, an assemblage art piece designed and donated by well-known local artist Patricia Mahan, and more. Sips and nibbles will be served, and Johnny Favourite, crooner extraordinaire and owner of La Noche Piano Bar, will sing a parting song.
If you’ve never visited Guadiana Park, you’re in for a treat. Located right next to Centro, just off the Ancha de San Antonio in the heart of one of San Miguel’s most beautiful neighborhoods, the park is a jewel in the rough. It was built as part of a far-sighted agreement with the city some 50 years ago, when city residents partnered to buy and develop a tract of corn and bean fields.
Today, colonia residents include Mexicans and expats, families attending the small local church (also part of the original plan), and families of past and current members of city government. FGP Steering Committee member Maria Herrera Williams is the niece of one of Guadiana’s original developers, a past head of the city’s Ecology Department (then called Parks and Gardens), and a fifth-generation sanmiguelense.
Other Steering Committee members include Bob Brown, coordinator; Paul Roach, treasurer; and Rick Brunson, Martha Donnelly, Donna and Bud Phillips, Mary Peaches Kloubec and Signe Hammer.