Santa Monica News
Santa Monica Celebrates Opening Of Two Parks
By Irena Taylor
Oct 23, 2013 - 3:29:10 PM

Gathering Hill at Tongva Park.

SANTA MONICA—On Saturday, October 19, Santa Monica celebrated the opening of Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square.  The Tongva Park, named after the Native American people that inhabited the area before European conquest and Ken Genser Square, named after the Mayor of Santa Monica who died while holding office in 2010.

According to the City of Santa Monica, the Tongva Park consists of four areas: Garden Hill consists of native plants to the area; Discovery Hill is primarily for children, consisting of a musical wall, hill slides and forts. Observation Hill provides a view of the ocean, pier and park, and Gathering Hill is an open space that promotes relaxation and togetherness for park visitors.

The celebration consisted of Native Tongva customs, including a dance procession of Gabrieleño Tongva dancers, named for the Spanish mission near their territory, Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, founded in 1771. The event included other Native American influences as well, such as Aztec Dancing by Cabeza de Vaca Cultura and Chumash Storytelling. The Parks also had interactive exhibits about plants native to the area, traditional clothing, food, musical instruments and basket weaving.

A dedication ceremony for Ken Genser Square is scheduled for Sunday, November 17 at 11 a.m.

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