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Community

The City of Anaheim has engaged many stakeholders in a variety of meetings and interviews to garner the community’s concerns and interests in developing a plan that links the entire City. The following topics describe the Anaheim Outdoors Connectivity Plan (Plan) goals for enhancing Community in the City of Anaheim.

1.1 Incorporate “Hi Neighbor”

“Hi Neighbor” is a city-wide program established by Mayor Tait of Anaheim. The program encourages neighbor to neighbor communication regarding improvement opportunities, neighborhood policing, and emergency preparedness. “Hi Neighbor” encourages the residents of Anaheim to build a stronger, safer and more resilient community by creating and enhancing neighborhood relationships. Visit the website at: www.anaheim.net.



Community members enjoy a neighborhood park

The Plan builds on the connection of residents through the physical network while the HiNeighbor program works to connect residents through the social network. Both the Plan and the Hi Neighbor Program recommend projects that will provide opportunities for neighbors to get together.

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1.2 Build Plan based upon community input process

The City of Anaheim included as many of the residents in the planning process as possible to ensure a sense of authorship and ownership in the Plan. Outreach methods included weekend and weeknight workshops, outreach programs targeting specific groups, and on-site interactions with pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians. Activities have been held at a variety of locations, making it easier for residents of all parts of the City to attend. An interactive project website was also established to disseminate information and solicit citizens input in the planning process. Public outreach materials can be found in Appendix E of this document.


Anaheim OUTDOORS website

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1.3 Look to transform vacant and underutilized parcels into parks

As part of the Plan, the City desires to transform publicly owned vacant and underutilized government owned parcels into more productive landscapes. Depending on each unique site location and suitability, these landscapes could become parks, wildlife habitat, bioswales, green infrastructure, community gardens and more. Neighborhoods will benefit not only from the improved aesthetics and function of these vacant parcels, but also in increased community interaction and safety through stronger connectivity. Opportunity Sites are described further in Chapter 8 of this report.


Opportunity site - near Fairmont Blvd.


Opportunity site - near Lincoln Ave. and Magnolia Ave.

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1.4 Engage youth, non-profits and neighborhood groups to embrace and implement the plan

The Plan will continue to engage various youth and on-profit groups to become stewards of the Plan including: the Anaheim Ballet, Anaheim Beautiful, Anaheim Colony Historic District, Back to Natives Restoration, Boys & Girls Club of Anaheim, BoyScouts, California Bicycle Coalition, equestrian groups, Girl Scouts, GOALS, Inside the Outdoors, KaBOOM!, Orange County Conservation Corps(OCCC), Project SAY, Sea & Sage Audubon Society,and YMCA, as well as many faith-based organizations. These groups often utilize recreational facilities and are ideal candidates for strengthening community connections.

Partners such as Inside the Outdoors already strengthen community connections through outdoor education programs that serve youth and families in Anaheim. Leveraging existing avenues of engagement with organizations like Inside the Outdoors will be an important element for successful implementation of the Plan.


Local Daisy troop #2654

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1.5 Establish foot, bike and equestrian neighborhood volunteer patrols

Throughout the community outreach process many residents expressed an interest in participating as volunteer patrols on foot, bike or horse. The Whittier Narrows Mounted Assistance Unit (www.wnmau.com) is an example of a group whose goals align with those of the Plan. Their mission is to conduct equestrian patrols in and on designated County parks and trails to contribute to the enhancement of public safety. This type of program is encouraged by the City and can be facilitated by the Plan.



Equestrian patrol, Anaheim Coves

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1.6 Create neighborhood identity landmarks

People identify with their distinct neighborhoods in Anaheim, and creating physical icons and features can help to express community identity. For instance, in the Colony there are distinct markers that identify the edges of the district and add visual interest to the area. The Plan encourages residents to embrace the unique character of Anaheim’s neighborhoods through a variety of visually appealing methods which might include: stone columns, archways, signage, murals and signature landscaping.

Murals can provide a sense of place and unify a community to express their identity. However, months of hard work and enthusiasm can be destroyed in a matter of minutes by graffiti or vandalism. To increase the lifespan of the mural, artists should be available to oversee repairs, longer lasting mosaic tiles with graffiti coating should be considered, and murals should be located in high traffic, well lit areas. Residents should be aware that any mural “visible from public right of-ways” requires a conditional use permit per CodeSection 18.44.050.0104 and will have to be approved by the City.


Colony District monument sign, Anaheim

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1.7 Establish community gardens

Creating opportunities for small-scale urban agriculture can benefit the residents of Anaheim in many ways. Locally grown food can be sold to consumers at the peak of freshness, nutrition and taste. Small-scale farming is often healthier for the environment and humans, as small farms tend to use fewer chemicals. Agricultural fields woven into the urban environment also contribute to oxygen cleansing, reduced ambient air temperatures and enhanced views for neighboring buildings.

Existing agricultural fields such as the various strawberry fields throughout the City, and the historic orange groves along Santa Ana St. and Harbor Blvd., are identified on the Connectivity Plan Map in Appendix A.


Draves Park Community Garden, San Francisco


Juniper-Front Community Garden, San Diego

There are also several active Farmer’s Markets in Anaheim including the Downtown market, the Kaiser Permanente market between Lakeview Medical Office and the hospital, and the Ponderosa Park market. All of these Farmer’s Markets provide fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices.


Farmer’s Market, Anaheim

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1.8 Identify opportunities for urban agriculture and growing local food

underutilized parcels is in the formation of community gardens. Community gardens have the power to bring people of all ages and abilities together. They also provide an opportunity for learning and sharing knowledge, a stage for neighborhood social events,and a multitude of health benefits including better nutrition and increased exercise.

In Anaheim, the Hi Neighbor Community Gardens movement, spearheaded by active community members, has installed temporary community gardens in vacant and unused spaces throughout the City. To date it has established three Hi Neighbor community gardens, one in west Anaheim, one in south, and one in the east. Each location has access to nearby residents and groups who are beginning to participate in the program. Two additional gardens are proposed, and both existing and proposed community gardens can be found on the Connectivity Plan Map in Appendix A.


Urban Agriculture amidst commercial development, Anaheim


Historic orange groves on Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim

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1.9 Investigate opportunities for dog parks

Most often dog parks are community-led opportunities driven by neighborhood needs. They function as social centers where people gather to exercise their pets, exchange information, discuss pet issues and socialize. Dog parks do not require a large amount of amenities and are another way to turn vacant parcels into productive and important properties.

In 2010 the City of Anaheim convened a Dog Park Task Force to identify possible locations of dog parks city-wide. This Task Force was composed of residents, community members, veterinary professionals, and representatives from the City of Anaheim Police Canine detail. The Task Force achieved their initial goal of identifying dog park locations in the west, central, and east parts of the City. Since that time, park funds have been allocated for the development of a dog park at Olive Hills Park. City staff continues to pursue locations in the central and the west side of town and is actively negotiating with SCE on development of their easements. There are several areas within the SCE easement that are ideal locations for dog parks. These locations are identified on the Connectivity Plan Map in Appendix A.


Dog Day at Great Park, Irvine


Off-leash dog park, Balboa Park, San Diego

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1.10 Identify outdoor venues for special events and festivals

Special events and festivals can be used as vehicles for bringing people into underutilized parcels of the City. For example, there are many areas along the Santa Ana River that would be suitable for nature festivals or concerts. Marathons could also be held along the River or along utility corridors to bring energy and attention to areas of the City that residents and visitors don’t typically frequent. These types of events can reinforce connectivity to the larger Anaheim community.


Tinkerbell Half Marathon through Angel Stadium


Tinkerbell Half Marathon along the Santa Ana River

Community volunteer groups are vital in assisting with special events and festivals in the City of Anaheim,and the Plan encourages them to expand their already successful efforts. Currently, the City and community volunteer groups partner to offer the following events: Cinco de Mayo, the Fall Festival, Concerts in the Canyon, Anaheim Western BBQ, July 4th Celebration, the Summer Nights at Pearson Park Amphitheater, the Halloween Parade, two Holiday Tree Lighting events, and the Children’s Festival.


Founders’ Park Open House

There are many large areas through out the City that either already host or have the potential to host large events such as: along the Santa Ana River, Grand Plaza at the Convention Center, in the Anaheim Stadium parking lot, along the Promenade in downtown, in front of the Anaheim ICE hockey rink, and in Yorba Regional Park.

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1.11 Include interpretive features that provide interest and information

The Plan recommends many projects that can incorporate interpretive features to help explain the urban greening process. Interpretive features provide an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of the environment. Residents can also gain a sense of satisfaction from understanding more about their community. Other topics might include: animal habitat, history, water conservation, ground water recharge and storm water treatment.


Interpretive sign at Anaheim Coves


Interpretive sign at Founders’ Park

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1.12 Support and cultivate cultural arts

The Cultural Plan for Anaheim was completed in July 2000. Since that time many of the objectives of the plan have been met. However, the City continues to “design a comprehensive approach to siting and building a network of city and non-profit community cultural facilities.”

The completion of the Muzeo, Citrus Packinghouse and Packard Building has established downtown Anaheim as the cultural arts heart of the City. The City is moving forward to “develop and equip an indoor 300 to 500 seat theatre/performing arts venue.”

The City is also investigating the opportunity to install a shade structure at Pearson Park to enhance programming opportunities.

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