I announced the new Central Park to you back in 2014, to be built on the site of the current Bosque de la Ciudad in front of the baseball stadium. Plans, naturally, have changed significantly since then, as you can see on its new website. The developers are excellent marketers, the designs are very modern and world-class, and I know this will be a huge boon to tourism and hopefully to schoolchildren and the general community in Mazatlán.
Construction of the Avenida de la Bahía and the park thus far have been a total destruction of the environment, preceded by the burning of the laguna which murdered thousands of turtles, nesting birds, iguanas and badgers, then by filling in nearly two-thirds of it. The one saving grace is that the new avenue will provide much-needed parking for those nearly 1000 spaces lost when they remodeled the malecón, and it will provide access during the sporting events (marathon, triathlon, etc.) that so often close the Avenida del Mar.
We have reported on concrete mixers and painters cleaning out their trucks into the estuary with zero regard for the environment. Our video on that was shared tens of thousands of times, to no avail. The road is nearly done now, and the estuary is nearly completely filled in with reclaimed land. The builders have a lovely video on their site where they show a biologist relocating some of the animals from the current Bosque de la Ciudad to make room for construction.
It looks like the plan is to completely scrape out the existing lagoon and build small islands that will be accessible by paddle boat to visitors. Our current park is a habitat to so many large migrant birds; I do pray they will continue to visit the new man-made, modern lagoon.
The new park does look lovely if you don’t think about the flooding that it is most likely to cause. I hope it will be accompanied by civic education around litter and the environment as they’ve said, because otherwise those small islands in the pond are going to become trash heaps. Good news is that designs include water circulation to keep things fresh, and hopefully lots of trash cans and cleaning staff.
I love that the new 5 million liter aquarium, which looks like it will completely replace the old one, will have an exhibit dedicated to Jacques Cousteau, champion of the Sea of Cortés, though no doubt he is turning in his grave to know the environmental destruction leading up to its construction. Greg is excited for the Food Truck Park and the promise it brings.
I am excited about the museum as well, designed to look like an oyster, since we are the “Pearl of the Pacific.” It is supposed to contain an IMAX theater and the second floor will have a killer view of the ocean, supposedly, though I think we have so many towers on the malecón that that could be challenging. Best part? The map seems to show it occupying the corner of Insurgentes and Avenida del Mar, where Geronimo’s has stood vacant for how many years. Will be great to get rid of that eyesore!
Plans still include two walkways from the park out to the malecón, which would be hugely welcome to all those who enjoy sports and the outdoors. I’m confident the park will be a huge boon to the city, as long as we can keep it clean and maintained. I remain saddened that “development” has to mean “destruction of nature.”
Good morning Dianne,
Thanks for your excellent post. As always you called it right.
In my 15 years living here I’ve gone through a sad transformation in my thinking regarding environmental issues in Mazatlan.
As a native born lifelong Oregonian, my sensibilities were formed from an early age. In retrospect that perspective is likely unfair and unreasonable to foist on this culture.
When I first arrived I delighted in the fact that our lovely city sat at the “end of the road”, somewhat isolated from the rest of the world. What a fine opportunity, I thought, for our Pearl of the Pacific to be an environmental showcase for the nation.
So I started asking some of the local movers and shakers what they thought. How could we start an education campaign to stop the littering, could we put a stop to polluting vehicles, and how about that nasty thermoelectric plant belching sulfur dioxide 24/7? These seemed like reasonable places to start.
The architects, engineers, civic leaders and politicos I spoke with all received me politely, were attentive and patiently heard me out. However, there was little enthusiasm for my ideas nor really any sense that these concepts had any place here.
So after five years waving my little green flag I finally gave up, except for tending my own garden, so to speak.
I’ve thought long and hard about the roots of this disinterest and have a couple theories.
One may be that the natural world is seen as an adversarial force and the source of much toil, trouble and destruction. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, invading jungles and their attendant snakes, spiders, scorpions, and rats are not welcome elements of the life here.
Another may be that the environmental movement is seen as a NOB luxury less affluent Mexico can ill afford. That argument is self defeating, but there you go.
I see some movement toward a more enlightened stance from the younger generation now assuming the mantle of authority. However, it’s a slow process hindered by inherited systemic corruption, greed and sloth.
The best we can do is to keep waving our own little green flags… poco a poco.
Thanks for the vent!
Thank you so much, Gordon, for taking the time to share your experience and thoughts. I get so very heartbroken, but I see hope in the younger generation, too. Let us hope. We live in such a gorgeous spot on this earth, and I’d like to see us be good stewards of it.
Good Afternoon Mrs. Dianne,
Thanks for the valuable information.
As a native born in Mazatlan living in Pasadena, Ca., my heart and love is in Mazatlan, its people and culture. As an Artist myself I would like to offer some of my artwork or create some original art pieces to support this project. As an immigrant, minority and Mazatleco living in the United States it is very important to give back to my own community in Mazatlan, specially in the arts.
You can see some of my artwork at http://www.michaeldergar.com
Thank you again for all you do to make a better Mazatlan for the people.
Oh, Michael, that would absolutely ROCK!!!! We would love to auction your art here and buy chickens, or have you do it there and support the effort. Hopefully one day you can come down and join us handing out chickens on Dec 24th!
LOVE your art and your mission!!! 💞
I’ve been watching them fill in the estuary from my kitchen window. Very sad. As you said, the park can be a great success as long as we can keep it clean and maintained. I think, judging by previous projects, that is a big “if”.
I meet with an exec in charge of the project on Saturday. He wants to “correct my misunderstandings.” I will listen and ask questions. I know what I see, and have much of it videotaped.
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