Maryland Avenue Park

Ryan Sullivan, 9 of Glendale, rides his scooter around the newly-opened Maryland Avenue Park. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / August 6, 2014)

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A new park in the Tropico neighborhood of Glendale that was a vacant lot for many years opened to the public on Tuesday.

The half-acre Maryland Avenue Park is located at 812 S. Maryland Ave., to the east of the Brand Boulevard of Cars.

The lot was purchased by the city in 2006 with plans of building a mini-park in a section of the city that's short on open space.

"The neighborhood south of Colorado Street is really park deficient given the density we have in that specific corner of the city," said Emil Tatevosian, a park development administrator with the city.

A covered picnic area, fitness equipment, community garden plots, a playground and outdoor seating are among the new park's amenities.

Purchasing the site and converting it to a park cost the city about $3 million, which also covered the cost of implementing some sustainable design elements.

"The landscaping uses drought-tolerant plants and other sustainable items like low-energy LED lighting and the incorporation of efficient, low-flow irrigation," said Rodney Khan, a community services and parks commissioner.

Another element Khan said he was glad to see is an art component consisting of tile paintings by three students at Daily High School.

Maryland Avenue Park is gated and closes at 10 p.m., Tatevosian said.

Anyone interested in planting in the community garden is asked to call (818) 548-2000 for more information.

Tatevosian said there aren't any plans in the pipeline for more new parks in the Tropico area, but improvements at nearby Maple Park, such as renovated restrooms and picnic areas, should be completed within the next few months.