PBC Parks celebrates 50th anniversary with opening of Canyon District Park
Canyon District Park ribbon cutting west of Boynton Beach.
Photo by Palm Beach County Parks.
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department opened a facility Sept. 24 that provides new possibilities for residents of Boynton Beach and beyond.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony that morning commemorated the opening of Phase I of Canyon District Park in Boynton Beach, which features three lighted multipurpose athletic fields for soccer, baseball, football and lacrosse, a paved fitness trail with 13 exercise stations, two group picnic shelters, a building with restrooms and concessions, and more than 250 parking spaces.
“More than 300 community leaders and residents attended the grand opening,” Director of Park Development Bob Hamilton says, “with a variety of recreation and wellness activities and soccer games from local teams.”
“Parks by their very nature are the centerpieces of every community,” Parks and Recreation Director Eric Call says. “We are so pleased to be opening the first phase of Canyon District Park, a demonstration of the county’s commitment to health, happiness, community and service to residents in the West Boynton area.”
The $11 million cost of Phase I of the 36-acre park was funded through impact fees, grants and infrastructure sales taxes.
Phase II is expected to move forward in the spring and to be completed by early 2024. It provides additional athletic fields, including baseball and softball diamonds, batting cages, a concession building, a destination playground, a picnic pavilion, parking, and restrooms. Hamilton estimates the Phase II cost at close to $9 million.
“This park in our community will always represent a happy place,” Palm Beach County Commissioner Maria Sachs says, “a place where children play, seniors gather, and all members of a family can enjoy.”
The Parks and Recreation Department this year is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its formation through the separation of the engineering and parks departments in 1972.
The Canyon Amphitheater is also located within Canyon District Park and features free Legends on the Lawn concerts by area artists from 7 to 9 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month. The Big City Dogs Band performs on Oct. 15, Whitestone on Nov. 19 and Chase Stites on Dec. 17. The ampitheater’s address is 8802 Boynton Beach Blvd. (561-966-7043).
Similar events are held at other amphitheaters within the Palm Beach County parks system, including Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park in Boca Raton and Seabreeze Amphitheater in Carlin Park in Jupiter.
“I don’t know many other parks and rec departments that have as varied a range of venues as Palm Beach County,” says Donald Perez, the amphitheater manager for the department.
At facilities like Canyon District Park, most activities are less scripted, other than the athletic fields being used during daytime hours and into evenings with permits. Picnic areas often host family gatherings. The health-conscious use exercise trails. Adjacent areas provide opportunities for nature appreciation and general relaxation.
The park’s new athletic fields can accommodate youth sports organizations such as West Boynton Flag Football.
“We make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better,” Call says, “by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.”
Canyon District Park is at 8878 Senator Joe Abruzzo Ave. (561-966-6600). The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset, with the lighted athletic fields open as late as 10 p.m. For further information, visit www.pbcparks.com.