The City of Long Beach accepted a $1 million donation Monday from the Occidental Petroleum Corporation to help fund improvements at the decaying Chittick Field.
Built more than 60 years ago, the ageing 19-acre recreational area is currently in the process of getting a large makeover with a new sports park, soccer fields, football field, track and restrooms in the works.
The city said Monday's donation by Occidental will go a long way towards funding those improvements.
"Occidental Petroleum's act of great corporate citizenship will benefit families in our community for years to come," Long Beach mayor Bob Foster said in a release. "This generous donation will help improve an area of the city that is severely lacking in open space and recreational opportunities for youth."
While popular with the community, Chittick Field's state of decline led to the discontinuation of city league sports play. Bringing it back from its state of disarray will be one of the largest park projects in Long Beach in recent years, officials said.
When complete, the city said the first phase of improvements will include two youth soccer fields, one adult soccer field, a regulation football field, 400-meter all weather track, parking for 136 vehicles and a bike path connecting the park to Pacific Electric Right of Way bike path.
"Chittick field will soon be thriving with adults and children enjoying themselves, playing sports and leading happier, healthier lives, thanks to these 19 acres that are for all of Long Beach to enjoy," said District 6 City Councilmember Dee Andrews.
Construction on phase one of the project is expected to begin in April, the city said.
In addition to providing open recreation space, Chittick Field also serves as a stormwater management facility. Crews will also work to improve those facilities and bring them up to modern standards to meet trash and bacteria reduction regulations.
Other funding for the project came from the County of Los Angeles, Park and Open Spaces District and City of Long Beach Open Space Bonds.