(as originally written on May 27, 1981)
By a vote of the people in 1949, the Recreation and Park District was founded to provide park and recreation facilities for residents in the area. Through many fund raisers and other community efforts, the first eight acres of what was to become Cypress Park were purchased. Through 1963, eight additional acres were purchased to house an athletic complex, a Community Center and picnic area. The Cypress Recreation and Park District initially included the cities of Cypress, La Palma, and contiguous unincorporated areas.
Until July 1971, the District was governed by the Orange County Board of Super visors. The City of La Palma’s de-annexation in that year enabled the City of Cypress’ City Council to become the District’s ex officio Board of Directors. District boundaries now encompassed all of the City of Cypress and unincorporated territory between the cities of Cypress and La Palma. On a percentage basis, the City of Cypress accounts for roughly 90% of the District assessed valuation, and land area.
Through a facility use agreement with the Cypress School District, 1964 saw the first school playground programs offered at Damron, Kin, and Cypress Schools. The Cypress Recreation and Park District has since developed cooperative joint use agreements with the Anaheim Union High School District, the Cypress Elementary School District and the North Orange County Community College District.
The City of Cypress and the Recreation and Park District continued to grow and, in March of 1973, the Cypress City Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a bond election to provide $2,750,000 for the District’s development plans. Voters passed the issue by a 73% affirmative vote.
Almost a quarter of the bond proceeds were used to construct a Community Center that serves the recreational needs of residents and organized groups from the entire District. The remainder of the proceeds were used to acquire 18.2 acres of new open space in addition to developing community park facilities, a nature park, eight neighborhood parks, and five local school/park areas.
Most recently, the closed Cypress Elementary School was leased by the Recreation and Park District, and was converted to a much needed Senior Citizens Center and Nutrition Site.
Lighted athletic facilities at Oak Knoll Park and Arnold/Cypress Parks provide evening facility use for the growing youth sports league programs as well as for City-sponsored adult softball and football leagues.
The Cypress Recreation and Park District is responsible for the upkeep of all parks including grounds and buildings and, most recently, established a contract agreement with the City of Cypress Public Works Department to provide these maintenance services.
The District provides programming for all leisure service activities including sports, cultural activities, playgrounds and senior citizens. The Cypress Community Center serves as the District’s headquarters, and is located at 5700 Orange Avenue (Oak Knoll Park). The City Council has established an advisory group called the Recreation and Community Services Commission to provide for community input into the Recreation and Park District programs. This Commission meets on the third Tuesday of each month, at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Center.
Through community involvement the District provides continuous programs such as pre-school, supervised playgrounds, cultural arts and community oriented theatre, youth and adult sports, special activity classes, excursions, teen programs, day camp, swimming instruction, and senior citizens programs.
Through its continuous activities, the District strives to provide a wide variety of program opportunities to enhance the quality of life for all its citizens.