Mayfair Park fully reopens

Published on January 16, 2022

Ribbon cutting of Howard L. Chambers Tennis Courts at Mayfair Park

Mayfair Park is now fully reopen after the park’s tennis courts and ballfields were closed for a lengthy time so that an environmentally friendly stormwater capture project and underground reservoir could be installed.

The fully renovated tennis courts were named by the Lakewood City Council in honor of the late Howard L. Chambers, who was Lakewood’s city manager for 41 years, a record for a single city in the state of California. Chambers was one of the original “Lakewood kids,” having been raised in the city during its early years of tremendous growth in the 1950s and 60s. He worked for Lakewood for a total of 50 years. Chambers retired in 2017 and had battled cancer for the past few years. He passed away in June of 2021 at the age of 76.

Photo above:  Howard Chambers’ daughter, Samantha Chambers, joined Lakewood City Council Members at a ribbon-cutting for the renovated tennis courts.

How to use the tennis courts and ballfields?

The tennis courts and ballfields are open to the public for use on a drop-in basis with preference of use provided to scheduled contract classes and permitted use for organized youth and adult sports programs.

Users can always check with facility staff to confirm availability of the tennis courts and ballfields for drop-in use by calling the Recreation Department at 562-866-9771 ext. 2408.

How does the stormwater capture project work?

A large underground reservoir has been installed underneath Mayfair Park’s ballfields. It will store water that is pumped in from the flood control channel adjacent to the park. That water will be filtered and cleaned so it can safely be used to irrigate the park’s fields and landscaping.

This innovative stormwater capture system will prevent trash and other contaminants that flow from local streets into the flood control channel from continuing downstream to pollute Alamitos Bay in Long Beach and the ocean beyond. The new system also means that Lakewood does not have to purchase as much outside water to irrigate Mayfair Park as before, saving the city money.

What other improvements were made at Mayfair Park with this project?

In addition to renovating the tennis courts, new turf and irrigation systems were installed in all parts of the park disturbed by the reservoir construction. This includes the complete renovation of ballfield #3, the diamond area of ballfield #2, and the outfield of Lisa Fernandez Field.

Who paid for all the construction?

The City of Lakewood successfully secured full funding for the project from the State of California since it was an innovative stormwater capture project that helped the state meet its stormwater capture goals.

The state funding also paid for renovating the areas of the park disturbed by the construction, including paying for the renovation of the tennis courts, ballfields and irrigation systems.

In the future, cities throughout Southern California will be required to use their own funding for such projects, so by being willing to be an “early adopter” here, Lakewood saved city taxpayer money down the road.

Why did the project take so long?

This project will have great long-term benefits for Lakewood and our region. But being innovative and complex created the potential for the project to run longer than expected, and it did. 

COVID also caused delays in the work, with supply chain problems causing backlogs in parts deliveries and with construction workers sometimes contracting COVID, which necessitated their absence and the absence of other workers with whom they were in close contact. That happened several times over the course of this project, as it did in many workplaces around the nation.

The City of Lakewood apologizes to Mayfair Park neighbors and visitors for any aggravation that the lengthy project caused. The city hopes that in the months and years ahead park users and the city as a whole will benefit from all the work and trouble along the way.

We know the community joins the city in being eager to see the return to Mayfair Park of popular events, like the Pan Am Fiesta, that could not be held there during construction.