“We don’t have many plazas with green areas, so this new park is something that’s going to really embellish the city” commented Ana Luisa Ríos (74), President of the Communal Union for Senior Citizens in Nacimiento. The group boasts a total of 1,200 people in 40 neighborhood clubs.
Found in the heart of the municipality of Nacimiento, in the region of Biobio, these 4.8 hectares will open to the public as of tomorrow, and the first visitors may be given the chance to walk its paths, enjoy a panoramic view from the lookouts, and walk around the artificial lagoon fed by three freshwater springs.
Located in the grounds of the old CMPC Pulp stadium, the Alessandri Nacimiento Park began as an initiative in 2015, when the board of directors at Empresas CMPC approved the startup funds for its construction. On that occasion, the CMPC Foundation, via its Culture department, was assigned the role of realizing, managing, executing and maintaining the project. The initiative would be absolutely free of any charge to the public.
The president of CMPC, Luis Felipe Gazitúa, considers Nacimiento a particularly relevant municipality to the company, as it is the home of the Santa Fe Pulp Plant, the largest of all the company’s facilities. “This is the most important city in the country for CMPC. Here we have our largest plant in Chile and we could not afford not to service the needs of the community for more green areas”.
After the park’s opening ceremony, he added; “the forestry industry is the most important economic sector for the region, and it is also the industry of the future and must continue to contribute via byproducts of natural fibers to help counter climate change”.
For his part, the governor of the region of Biobio, Rodrigo Díaz, values the efforts made by CMPC to improve on the quality of life of local residents. “This is the second park CMPC has developed in the region, after the park in Coronel. It has premier quality, well-developed landscapes that were created in collaboration with the municipality of Nacimiento. Without doubt, it constitutes an urbanist contribution of great relevance to a municipality that has relatively few green spaces in the urban area” he asserted.
Urban intervention, the architectural and landscape design for the park were left in the hands of renowned architect and landscapist Juan Grimm. It was Juan that projected native trees, bushes, plants and flowers in the installation, located 37 kilometers from Los Angeles; native species such as the coigüe or Dombey’s beech, peumo or Chilean acorn, quillay or soapbark, the lingue, olivillo, sweet chestnut, oak and rauli beech among others.
The mayor of Nacimiento, Mr. Carlos Toloza, valued the initiative. The municipality doesn’t have any parks of its own, which means the space will be unprecedented for the residents of the neighborhood, in his words; “now we can tell the rest of the country that we might not have plazas, but we have almost five hectares of park. I invite any and all tourists to come and visit our municipality”.
The councilman also pointed out the space would be an engine for culture in the municipality. The amphitheater already in the park is a venue for events such as concerts and art exhibitions. “There’s no doubt there will be tremendous movement in our municipality, both culturally an artistically, in that now we have the means to promote local artists, and invitations are open for many other artists to come and visit the municipality” asserted Toloza.
Walking along the trails in the park Ana Luisa, a 55-year resident with a career in school education spanning over 40 years, remembers there used to be nothing in the area. The land used for the park was part of an open wasteland that extended down to the banks of the Vergara river. She smiles when she sees the children’s playground, as well as the enormous amphitheater, seating 1,500 people and perfect for cultural activities.
In that regard, the Director of Culture for the CMPC Foundation, Ms. Maite Artiagoitia, indicated “we hope this will be a huge contribution to culture and tourism for all the residents in Nacimiento, the park is intended as a place for human encounters, outdoor lifestyles and time spent as a family”.
Just as all the directors of the neighborhood association were there at the opening of the park, from its inception the project has been developed taking into consideration the opinion of the residents of Nacimiento. The Park project was presented at the Casa de la Cultura to get feedback from the community. All the local authorities and neighbors took part in the presentation. The Foundation Mi Parque and the community also went over three lines of action together: environmental workshops, a design contest and the painting of murals and joint tree plantings.
Just prior to finishing the tour Ana Luisa takes a break on one of the wooden benches at the top of the park and comments: “I find this fabulous, a luxury. I hope to see other senior citizens enjoying the park in the afternoons, to share, enjoy the space together and hopefully people will take care of and protect it, that they visit it often”.
Covid-19 protocols were also implemented, controlling access to the park with temperature stations, hand sanitation, mask mandates and social distancing between parties.
Park Alessandri Nacimiento, located on Arturo Alessandri 1060, officially opens its gates to the general public on the 11th of August, during daylight hours and opens from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm.