ONTARIO - Jennifer Zeeman was just as excited about Friday's opening of South Bon View Park in the 2000 block of South Bon View Avenue as her 4-year-old son.

That's because Zeeman will no longer have to trek across town to take her son to a park - now she can just cross the street.

"This is awesome, this is great," she said, as her son, Skyler, made his way through the new playground of the 5-acre park. "During the day, we will be here."

For more than two decades, this particular property in the south part of town remained vacant and undeveloped.

On Friday afternoon, more than two dozen children joined several city officials and politicians as they welcomed the opening of the new park, which features a restroom, play structure, a 17-stall parking lot as well as a decomposed granite pathway that will wrap around the perimeter of the park.

After patiently waiting through a few speeches, and taking part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, students from neighboring Bon View Elementary School bolted for the playground.

The 5-acre parcel was designated as parkland but the necessary funds were just never there until city officials entered into a deal with General Electric, which allowed the corporation to install about five injection wells on the property, Mayor Paul Leon said.

In return, GE reimbursed the city $1 million, specifically for the design and construction of the 5-acre park, Leon said.

Construction of the park was completed just five months after it began, he said.

The area has been viewed for years as an ideal location for a park, with the elementary school bordering the southern end of the property and high-density apartments across the street.

"Successful cities begin by creating communities that bring people together. The city understands the value of providing safe environments for our citizens and their families to make memories. The City Council sees the South Bon View Park being such a place," Leon said.

Echoing the statements of Leon, Bon View Principal Kristie Bennett said the new open space will serve as a benefit for families.

"It's going to help out our families," said Bennett. "This is going to be a place they can take their kids before or after school. It's really going to help build that neighborhood and community."


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