Malibu’s ‘Central Park’ opens to begin a legacy

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Former Mayor Ken Kearsley addresses the crowd. Four other former mayors and Mayor Pro Tem John Sibert stand behind him. Mayor Jefferson "Zuma Jay" Wagner is seated. Cathy Bruegger / TMT

About 200 people gathered on Saturday at the 15-acre stretch of land along Pacific Coast Highway between Webb Way and Civic Center Way to officially open Legacy Park. Current and former City Council members along with state officials and environmental activists were in attendance for the ceremony honoring the property that will serve the dual purpose of a passive park and a storm water treatment system. The $50 million project is part of the city’s effort to curb pollution of the Malibu watershed, which is routinely the negative focus of environmental watchdogs like Heal the Bay.

Legacy Park is on the land formerly known as the Chili Cook-Off site. The property was purchased from the Malibu Bay Co. in 2006, and a few years of fundraising and environmental review followed prior to the beginning of construction last year.

-Michael Aushenker