Charles Lewis III Park opens as ‘safe haven’

If you were to ask friends, family and even some of his former constituents, they would tell you the late Charles Lewis was passionate about representing the people living and working in his district.

“I think at his core Charles was a proud community servant and he worked every single day for this community,” said Councilmember Myrtle Cole.

It’s the reason the new multi-acre park in City Heights was officially dubbed the Charles Lewis III Memorial Park.

“We’ve been waiting for a long time,” said Mary Aeschbacher, a City Heights resident. “I think it’s really important for the children to have some place to go play and to do things. And it’s good for us old people too (laughing).”

Lewis passed away while in office in 2004. More than a decade later, in December 2015, the Charles Lewis III Memorial Park opened, fulfilling his vision.

“Today’s park opening is fitting because it symbolizes Charles’ legacy. Just as Charles would have wanted, this park is here to serve the community,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer at the grand opening event.

The park, off Home Avenue, sits on a 5.86 acre rectangular strip of land in City Heights. Nearly two acres is developed park space and the remainder is protected natural parkland along a canyon hillside. Council President Pro-Tem Marti Emerald spoke at the event, noting that the new park in her district has a basketball court, dog park and bridges easy for walking.

Once a plot of weeds, the park has become a place for all to share. Lewis’ mother was in attendance at the grand opening and said the transformation was like “night and day.”

“When we broke ground last year here, I said ‘From a drug haven, this (will) become a safe haven,'” said Rosemary Pope, Lewis’ mother. She said the park gives her a sense of peace and tranquility.

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