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City celebrates 20 years of Unidad Park, begins park, playground renovations


The City of Las Cruces celebrated 20 years of one of its most popular parks with a special ceremony held Dec. 8 that included city officials, volunteers and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department mascot, Ziggy.

The event, called “Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Future,” recognized Unidad Park, 1500 E. Hadley Ave., a “community-built structure that was erected in 2001 thanks to community donations and dozens of volunteers,” the city said in a news release.

“The playground has become an icon over the years where generations of families have come to enjoy the peacefulness of the park and play on its distinctive features,” said city Parks and Recreation Department Director Sonya Delgado.

Because the park playground is made mostly of wood, the harsh Southwest climate has deteriorated playground equipment surfaces during the past 20 years to a point where playground safety is a fundamental concern, Delgado said in the news release.

“City personnel have tried over the years to protect and cover some surfaces that get heavy use, but that now is the time for total replacement,” the city said.

“The safety of this playground is precisely why we recommended that it be replaced with materials that will hold up better over time and meet playground industry standards,” Delgado said. “That’s why we’re investing close to $2 million in this park alone, paid for from the general obligation bonds that voters supported in 2018.”

A splashpad will be a new feature at the park, the city said. The walls that feature tiles with children’s handprints and the wood slats with names will remain as an historical part of the site, the city said.

The city’s Public Works Department is overseeing the contractors for the renovation. Activity to prepare the site for the new playground and park will start this month. It should be complete by next summer.

For more information, contact the city Community Engagement Office at 575-541-2192 or 4557 and clcengage@las-cruces.org.