A drive in Ganesha park in the 19th Century
In Ganesha Park,
circa 1890s
(from the digital collections of the Pomona Public Library. To see more images, click HERE. )

The Parks of Pomona, California

A series of research papers
investigating the past & present of public parks in Pomona, California

CALIF0RNIA STATE POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY, POMONA
Cal Poly
Pomona

T Young's Home Page

These links take you to a series of research reports prepared in spring 2011, winter 2013 & spring 2015 by students in a geography course on Parks and Protected Areas. Some reports are documents, while others are posters or webpages. In many cases, these projects came to completion through the much appreciated help of many public employees of the city of Pomona. Thank you!

Textual Documents (as .pdf files)

"A GIS-Based Species Diversity Assessment of Ganesha Park" by Jennifer Becker and Nicole McClain (2011)

Urban-forests provide a potential myriad of ecological and aesthetic benefits. In order for these benefits to be maximized, however, urban-forests must be properly managed and maintained. Of specific importance to the health of the urban forest is species diversity. Our study of Ganesha Park investigates species diversity in terms of richness and evenness to determine if management of the park is adequate for ensuring species diversity. Our results indicate species diversity is substandard, not adhering to the 10-20-30 rule, with additional cause for concern centering around two invasive, non-native trees – Myoporum and Mimosa – which have the potential to rapidly take-over the area if management cannot inhibit their growth. Recommendations for improving the urban-forest structure of Ganesha Park reflect the need for a management plan that begins with immediate removal of the invasive Myoporum and Mimosa trees as well as a focus on incorporating more native species into the landscape.

"Sustainable Water Practices at Pomona's Parks: Improving Irrigation Use and Stormwater Runoff Retention" by Brandon Bergman (2013)

The need for water sustainability has emerged as a response to urbanization and the depletion of water sources. Urban green spaces, such as the city parks of Pomona, are at the forefront for the need for sustainable water management. Parks reflect a society's values and ideals, so these green spaces should be leading the way towards a sustainable future. However, this is not the case. Landscape irrigation represents a large portion of the United States total water usage. Further, the majority of stormwater runoff is never recaptured to be utilized in irrigating landscapes. Parks are often inefficient in water use and utilizing stormwater runoff, such as the two parks of this study: Kellogg Park and John F. Kennedy Park. Green infrastructure, Low Impact Development, and Xeriscaping are several practices to improve water sustainability. Sustainable water methods should be implemented to improve stormwater retention and irrigation use at parks. This would prevent the problems created by traditional runoff and landscape design. Although there are many obstacles to implementing these features, especially at the Pomona parks, it is a necessary step towards a more sustainable future.

"Physical Activity and its Influence on Health at Country Crossing Park" by Emily Boyce (2013)

Health is more than the absence of disease or illness, it is a combination of physical, mental and social well-being. There are many factors that contribute to a person’s health. Because physical activity is a major influence on health, physical activity can be used to experiment on health. Parks have become an important setting for adults to meet their physical activity needs. There is a general agreement that parks play a role in encouraging health to individuals and societies. According to County of Los Angeles Public Health, Pomona has only 1.8 park acres per 1,000 people. This is very small compared to the 86 park acres per 1,000 people for Los Angeles County. Although there is a small amount of available parks to Pomona residents, can there still be health benefits to the people that do have access to parks? This question is tested on the users of Country Crossing Park in Pomona, California through observation and interviews.

"Pomona Parks as a Medium for Exercise in Pomona, CA" by Brennen Byers (2013)

One goal of public parks is to promote the health and wellbeing of citizens and their Society. Contrary to the public parks purpose, all parks are not used equally by society. The users of parks tend to be affected by demographics, geography and amenities offered by a public park. These factors need to be examined when determining whether a specific public park is effective in promoting the health of its users.

"Sustainability of Ganesha Park, Pomona, California" by Christopher Edmunson (2011)

The term sustainability is relatively unknown to the city of Pomona and only until recently there has been a myriad of new studies and information that are beginning to surface. Currently, there is very little information and data on the topic of sustainability at Ganesha Park. Many college students, scientists and geographers are having a difficult time conducting experiments and compiling data in order to generate an accurate study or report on the subject. We will begin to explore the relationship between sustainability and Ganesha Park in Pomona, California as well as how these two are intertwined with each other. The goal of this research paper is to indentify whether or not Ganesha Park is a sustainable public park. When it comes to a sustainable area or region, there are three aspects that need to be taken into account. The three aspects of sustainability are environmental, social and economic. In addition, this research paper will potentially fill the gap between the lack of available information on sustainability and the people in need of this material.

"Geocaching and Pomona's Public Parks" by Scott Elder (2011)

The city of Pomona has many public parks located throughout the city and many of them are surrounded by residential zones. Geocaching is defined as “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location”. The average age of geocachers is in their 40s, parks are suitable places for geocaching because of their easy terrain and easy access to the majority of the population, and a comfortable walking distance from home to park is about one mile. Geocaching in Pomona's public parks would increase the use of them with a high residential density around the parks within a comfortable walking distance of one mile. Four parks were surveyed for geocaching hiding spots, mapped out in ArcGIS, and measured for residential density. These parks were Kellogg, Ganesha, Memorial, and Washington and they were chosen because they were distributed throughout the city and ranged in size. Ganesha Park had the best locations for hiding geocaches and had the highest residential density of 64.5%. Kellogg Park had the lowest residential density of about 30%. All four parks were suitable for geocaching and if geocaches were hidden within these parks and the population living around the parks got involved, then there use would increase.

"Green Virtue: Pomona Parks & Public Health" by Matt Fisher (2013)

During the American park movement in the romantic era, park proponents sought to use urban parks to reform corrupted city dwellers into the good society. Public health, the primary virtue implored toward that end, is still associated with urban parks in this ongoing era of rationalism and related data is commonly used to assess whether regions provide ample green space to their constituents. Facing a national obesity epidemic, efforts to study correlations between public health and urban parks have recently increased. This brief report represents another in that stream, this time focusing on Pomona, California and comparing it to the surrounding Los Angeles region.

"Social Sustainability in the Parks of Pomona: A Case Study" by Peter Flores (2015)

The local parks system serves an important function for the residents and communities of a city. Parks provide recreation, a place for both children and adults to congregate and relax. But there exists another important and not extensively understood aspect of parks: their social sustainability. That is to say, the ability of parks to foster social interactions and bring communities closer together. This paper will first explore the concepts of sustainability and what it means for a park to be ‘socially sustainable.’ The parks of Pomona, California are not adequately designed with social sustainability in mind and four of these parks shall be examined, Ganesha, Lincoln, Tony Cerda, and Phillips Ranch, to see why that is the case.

"Incorporating Informal Education Into Local City Parks as a Recreactional Activity with Emphasis on the Ecology of Country Crossing Park" by Rozia Naimah Francis (2015)

The study and ideas of the paper consist of a potential long term study where the focus would be on ecology and take on a more in-depth study of park purposes. The health of the population and the environment are both a big concern worldwide. The efforts to protect our natural resources like water or even to prevent global warming are tough for a general audience to take on and to understand. But, education is a valuable tool that if used in the correct and right format can get more people interested in its complicated topic. The informal education process occurs in an outside classroom which can be used with local city parks. Parks can provide a place for a great physical workout but can also help the mind relax and help deal with mental stress. The setting for Country Crossing Park, was ideal with little negative variables but most importantly, its serves as a model for more in-depth study of the park ecosystems. Recreational activities, should be fun and enjoyable, therefore with the ability to watch birds interact with each other is a fun way to incorporate informal education into local city parks, hence redefining the purpose of the park.

"Playground Safety in Pomona's Parks" by Geramaldi Geramaldi (2011)

The intention of this report is to give the general public a basic understanding of playground safety and how well the public playgrounds that are found throughout the parks within the City of Pomona follows playground safety standards as stated by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission. After reviewing this report, the reader should be able to identify some common hazards that can be found associated with the playground area and structures. This report should also leave the reader with some level of knowledge so that the reader is capable of assessing the playground’s safety on their own discretion. It is with the hope of the writer that the reader should also be able to understand that there are inherent dangers in all environments and that with proper supervisions these dangers could be significantly reduced.

"A Cure for Obesity" by Aaron Gire (2013)

Many cities in Los Angeles County have an ever-growing population affected by obesity. A person is considered to be obese if they are more than 20% heavier than their normal recommended body weight. In some cases the Body Mass Index (BMI) is used. A person with a BMI of over 25 is considered to be overweight and a person with a BMI of over 30 is considered to be obese. I believe that by increasing the amount of accessible green space we can effectively stop or even reduce the growing rate of obesity within the city of Pomona.

"Park Usage" by Nicholas Gorecki (2013)

The project examines the concept of organized sports and the relationship to parks. However, organized sports are only a small part of the story. In my study age distribution will be a centerpiece of the research. The age demographics surrounding the park are crucial to the usage and design of parks. Age distribution is a highlighted trademark in this study. Also, economic viability concepts surrounding a park come into the picture during the study. The report will focus on these elements to discover the unexpected and intriguing issues surrounding Washington Park, Phillips Ranch Park, and Country Crossing Park.

"The Influences of Park Use in Pomona: A GIS Analysis" by Andrea Hernandez & Jeffrey Nelson (2015)

Parks have been used to better the surrounding society since their modern inception. The municipal parks of the city of Pomona were created with the same fundamental theory behind them. This theory being put into action is easier said than done, and can be greatly influenced by the environment quality of the parks. In Pomona, there are many factors that influence the use of the parks. These factors work together within the city to create good, moderate, and poor environments for park use. This study focuses on one of each park quality type, analyzes the direct influences and suggests improvements that could be made to better the surrounding area for increased park use. Through GIS analysis and case studies for verification purposes, the park environments are analyzed and quantified. From this information, the conclusion is made that the parks are of moderate environmental quality at best, however have room for improvement through both aesthetics and community involvement. More research is required in the area of spatial socioeconomics as well as factors of overall community improvement.

"Pomona's Parks - Outdoor Exercise: Benefits for a Healthier Society" by John Holtgrefe (2015)

It has come to my attention that there is a new trend spreading all around Southern California’s parks. For many years there have been jogging tracks associated with parks. There are many parks which now incorporate exercise stations placed at strategic intervals. These exercise stations have significantly enhanced the workout potential for these jogging tracks. These workout or exercise stations can take many various forms working many separate muscle groups. In many cases these are a low cost addition for any park which can stimulate patrons to get more involved and dedicated towards health, physical fitness, and enhanced well-being. There also exist higher costing well engineered physical fitness courses which are becoming better developed constantly offering a full range of ergonomic options targeting specific muscle groups offering outdoor alternatives for gym quality exercise. Are Pomona’s parks keeping up with this recent trend? In order to answer this question, many parks were visited and much data has been gathered from other sources.

"Invasive Plants: Just a Nuisance?" by Alex Lester (2013)

Invasive plant species have moved to the forefront of ecological thought over the past years . Most areas across the United States have to deal with invasive plant species in some form causing damage or impacting a landscape , and often times the only real way to deal with them is to devote hard labor to digging them up and manually removing them . Due to this fact , combined with their destructive nature , they are often treated as a nuisance . In this case , it is to be expected that Pomona and its public parks are no different . However , Pomona's treatment of these invasive plant species differs from the consensus that calls for removal .

"Crime in Pomona's Parks" by Sarah LeVario (2011)

The idea of going to one of Pomona’s parks often strikes fear and worry into the visitor’s initial reaction about visiting one of the parks. I must admit that I too felt this way when presented with this project on Pomona’s parks. Many people have this perception deeply embedded in their minds that Pomona’s parks are dangerous, gang infested, dirty with graffiti, and unsafe to visit all around. This perception is what inspired the thesis for this project; are Pomona’s parks dangerous or are they really safe? In order to uncover if this perception is true or not I first had to look at what qualities a park must have in order for it to be considered safe by its users. Then I had to look at what created this perception in the first place. I then looked at what types of crimes were being committed around the areas of six randomly chosen parks, one from each district in Pomona. The six parks chosen were Hamilton Park from District One, Ralph Welch Park from District Two, Renacimiento Community Center from District Three, Garfield Park from District Four, Phillips Ranch Park from District Five, and Ganesha Park from District Six. I then took the standards and applied them to the six randomly chosen parks to see if they passed these standards. Finally I concluded my research looking at what types of preventive measures the city is implementing in order too make the parks a safe place. At the end of my research I proved whether the perception about Pomona’s parks was valid or invalid.

"Neighborhood Park Use Pomona: A Multi-dimensional Analysis with a Focus on Washington Park" by Daniel McCarley (2011)

The relationship between neighborhood parks and their neighborhoods is complex and may be revealed through research.  They are meant to provide a series of amenities to residents who live within a short distance.  Census data and GIS software were used to examine the community and compared with data observation of people using Washington Park in Pomona, California.  Profiles of both sets were compiled for age, sex and race ethnicity.  Analyzing this demographic information for Washington Park reveals noticeable similarities and differences suggesting that benefits are spread unevenly throughout the community.  The amenities available in the park and the data all suggest that it was intended to be used by families with young children.  On the other hand, Teenagers, older residents, females and non-Hispanics were not shown to be benefitting as much as expected.  This relationship may be somewhat explained by the specific activities found in Washington Park and by some characteristics of nearby residents.

"Trash Accumulation in Pomona Parks: A Study of Ganesha Park and Phillips Ranch Park in Relation to Economic Status and Pollution" by William A. McDonnell (2015)

Past research has shown economic class divides can be observed in public park space. The location of parks, size of parks, and the use of parks have all been researched in regards to class differences, but no previous quantitative research has been done to try and determine a relationship between the cleanliness of public parks in relation to class and economic status. The purpose of this study is to fill this void of knowledge and to show that economic class plays a role in park pollution. Using Ganesha Park and Phillips Ranch Park in the city of Pomona California as models, trash particulates were counted and trash densities per yard for each park were determined using a traditional line transect methodology. Ganesha Park was used to represent a lower economic neighborhood within the city of Pomona while Phillips Ranch Park was used to represent a higher economic neighborhood in the city of Pomona. The study showed that Ganesha Park did have more trash per yard than Phillips Ranch parks at .812 and .643 pieces of trash per yard respectively. While both parks were heavily polluted with trash particulates, the data confirmed that parks located in neighborhoods with a higher average household income were less affected by solid pollution in comparison to parks were the household income was lower. Future research could expand these results on a larger scale, looking in-between cities of varying economic statuses to determine if the trend found in Pomona California was applicable to parks throughout the region. Another idea for future research would be to determine if park cleanliness affected park use in Pomona California.

"Pomona Skate Park: A Place for Skateboarders to Have Fun, Legally" by Dean McIntyre (2013)

It is well documented that exercise- in general, contributes overall to human health and development. For local kids, of any demographic, it could mean daily involvement in physical activity. There is now recent data that shows that skateboard facilities have been neglected in the design of a park compared to traditional organized sports. The National Sporting Goods Administration said, “You will see from the comparative ratios to other sports how vastly underserved the skateboarding population is. The condition is not unique to Philadelphia.” This study may be inconclusive; nevertheless, this research sketches the benefits of skateboard activity in the city of Pomona.

"Parks! What are They Good For?" by Fernando Rico (2015)

Natural landscapes have been a close part of who we are as a culture since our country’s birth. We as a nation have a proud history for promoting the availability of natural spaces and parks for people to enjoy. Parks have been an important aspect of California life as well, with the creation of Golden Gate Park and others like it. After all, our country has a history of pioneers who dared to venture into wild landscapes and unfamiliar wilderness. People have always had a need to connect with nature, while at the same time try to tame it for their benefit, or at least the illusion of control. Parks then, represent man’s ideal of what nature should and ought to be in its many forms. Parks are constantly being reimagined and recreated into many different forms. The modern urban park tends to be rationalistic in nature, with specified uses throughout its different areas. The city park is meant to serve specific purposes and activities. This paper looks into the different ways that these parks serve the communities. The author wants to gain a better understanding of how the layout of a park influences the activities there. In other words, how the design of a park is directly related to how that park is used by people. He aims to gain a broad understanding of how the parks are used by the people in the Pomona community throughout the entire week.

"Playgrounds and Child Development" by Jason Robinson (2011)

How much thought gets put into playground design? Does the equipment children play on in parks do anything for them, or is it nothing other than play? It turns out lots of thought should be put into playground design, because of the playgrounds unique ability to aid in child development. Pomona’s playgrounds received a B average for design.

"Can I Sit Here?: Evaluating the Park Benches of Seven Parks in Pomona" by Mark Suarez (2015)

As I visited seven of the city of Pomona’s parks, one of the things that came to mind while stumbling upon some several benches was that their qualities had been shaped by various external factors throughout the course of time. Factors varying from sleeping homeless individuals to children skateboarding on these benches make them what they are today, not just what they simply appear to be. Although park benches provide the prime image of a park visitor sitting on one while enjoying the view of the surrounding grassfields under the sky of day, today, park benches are used for reasons other than simply sitting.

"Future Development Plan: Bringing Business Back" by Elliot Tucker (2015)

When taking a drive through many areas in Pomona it is easy to see that many places of the city are riddled in poverty. The city can use a serious makeover. It is very important that new businesses come to the city and create new opportunities for its residents. According to the United States Census Bureau in 2013 21.6% of those who live in the city of Pomona were below the poverty level and around 9000 citizens are unemployed. “The Largest city in eastern Los Angeles County, Pomona is home to a diverse population that struggles with poverty. According to the U.S Census Bureau, Pomona’s per capita income in 2009 was 16,573, well below the national averages.” In order to create new growth in the once thriving city it is important to find new areas of development that can sustain potential economic growth and provide money for the city as well as provide employment opportunities for those who are unemployed. By decreasing the number of parks and increasing the amount of land the city has. New business opportunities will be generated, the unemployment rate will decrease, more revenue will be created for the city, and its residents.

"Pomona's Parks as Areas in Need of Protection: Is Low Perceived Safety Driving Potential Park-goers Away?" by Marie Villalobos (2015)

While the link between healthy children and park use has been strengthened over time by a wealth of scientific studies, many cities have very limited amount of parks and greenspace within their borders. This dearth of spaces available to physical activity is thought to lead to higher rates of obesity and coronary heart disease, and greater psychological distress. In park-poor areas where a great portion of the population is overweight or obese, park advocates offer the establishment of additional parks and greenspaces as a solution to the problem. Though this proposal may work to remediate the issue, it is important to consider that available land is often scarce in cities and in some areas, funding for development of parkland may be difficult to secure. Additionally, suggesting more parks also ignores the use or underutilization already built recreational spaces. If the existing park space is not being used to full capacity, finding out why this is and how the issue can be rectified should be a priority.

"A New Waste Management System for Pomona's Public Parks" by Madison Wagner (2015)

Parks were initially created as an escape from urbanization and now double as an escape from suburbanization as well. Parks have evolved over the years to meet many different needs and park users come to parks for all different reasons with a large usage being for picnics, family outings, parties, outdoor games, and more. These are all ideal usages of parks, however, something often overlooked is the amount of waste parks obtain through their extensive usage. Often, after a party or busy weekend, one can tend to see trash cans piled up and overflowing, causing great amounts of waste. The Environmental Protection Agency has done some park waste research and found that majority of parks across the nation have a large waste problem with the contents of parks trash bins predominately filled with outside sources of trash that were brought into the park. This paper looks at the way the City of Pomona handles its waste and research pathways for improvement for the City of Pomona and the community to take up.

"Water Conservation in Pomona: Feasibility of Xeriscaping and Irrigation in Pomona's Parks" by Alia Wilkinson (2015)

This paper explores ways in which the Southern Californian City of Pomona may save water used for outside irrigation in parks in order to conserve natural and economic resources. By replacing current varieties of plants in parks with varieties native to the Mediterranean climate, as well as water conserving plants, this study originally postulated that Xeriscaping Pomona’s Parks may support conservation goals. After careful analysis of costs of xeriscaping in Pomona compared to available resources, this study concludes that Xeriscaping is cost prohibitive in parks, and that more efficient conservation irrigation systems supported by state subsidies would be more efficient in saving water, as well as monetary resources for the City of Pomona.

"Most Common Activities in Pomona's Parks" by Brian Yee (2013)

Since their inception, the main mission for parks has been to provide a safe and reliable location where people can participate in recreational activities. As soon as people started to live more industrialized lifestyles, one of the few ways people were able to get out of the that lifestyle was to go to visit a park provided by the city. It’s been stated that “when homo sapiens first erected a fence to protect an area of land, the world’s first park was made”; this really stresses the importance of the safety that a park provides, and that it let people overcome the fear of constantly looking over their shoulders when trying to enjoy some time for themselves. And as such, this ideal has lasted until today where many present day urban parks are designed to be child friendly. The parks within Pomona should be of no difference; the Pomona parks, despite the city’s reputation for being largely unsafe, should still be able to foster a safe environment for children and residents to engage in wholesome recreation as the parks provide a wide range of amenities and recreation centers for its residents. Thus, I was curious to see what activities were the most popular that occurred in Pomona’s parks, namely Palomares Park, Ganesha Park, and Veteran’s Park (but which I eventually changed to John F. Kennedy’s Park). I do expect that the most popular activities to be just walking, or running, much like my city of residence and many other parks that I casually observe when I drive by.

Posters (as either .pdf or .jpg files)

"Sustainability of Turfgrass" by Thomas Schaper (2011)

This poster explores the environmental and social ramifications of turf - grass in Ganesha Park in an attempt to provoke a paradigm shift of public turfgrass management in Pomona.

Webpages

"The Utilization of Pomona's Parks" by William Fredericks (2011)

The utilization of Pomona’s parks is based on the idea of looking at the differences in a small, medium and large park. By collecting data with a survey we can identify the concerns and uses of the three parks that were tested. With this data we can identify who is using the park, why they chose this park and what may be needed to bring more people to the parks. Although many cities love the idea of massive city parks that allow for large groups of community members to congregate very few realize who is using them. In this website we will also compare if large urban parks are utilized as much by residents as small or medium parks.

"Utilizing Pomona's Parks to Educate the Community" by Andrew Malonzo (2015)

Education allows for its students to contribute in making this world a better place. Education is the first step towards a solution to climate change. How can a city teach about sustainability and climate change to its community? A city can certainly do it through schools, the places where most people obtain their education. What about the community who are not in school and those who want to learn more? The author believes the city of Pomona can be a leader in educating sustainability by facilitating green events in its parks and by applying sustainable concepts to after school program.

"Are Pomona Parks ADA Accessible?" by Jennifer Potter (2011)

Using guidelines set forth by the federal government as well as the state of California, the author visited five of Pomona's parks to see how they compared to state requirements.

"Discovering Parks in Pomona, California" by Jamee Regalado (2013)

The intention of this website is to inform resident of the City of Pomona, California about their nearby parks and how adolescent students attending nearby school benefit or lose out on the design of the parks. I have broken down Pomona into four sections; North, South, West, and East. 

"Rationalistic Pomona Parks" by Jonathan Serrano (2011)

A guide to the rationalistic features of the parks in Pomona, California

DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY & ANTHROPOLOGY
Department of Geography & Anthropology

© 2017 by Terence Young
tgyoung@cpp.edu
This website includes official class materials for courses taught at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, by Terence Young.  They are subject to change without notice to anyone but students currently enrolled in the class.

6/14/17