Pico Rivera is a city located in southeastern Los Angeles County, California, United States. The city is situated approximately 11 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, on the eastern edge of the Los Angeles basin, and on the southern edge of the area known as the San Gabriel Valley. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as well as the Los Angeles International Airport are in close proximity. The 2010 census reported that the city had a population of 62,942. Facilitated by annexations, it has grown to approximately nine square miles.
History and culture
Pico Rivera was founded in 1958, from the merger of the long-standing unincorporated communities of Pico (named for Pío Pico, the last Mexican governor of California) and Rivera. Situated on a rich alluvial plain between the Rio Hondo and the San Gabriel River, the area was once predominantly agricultural, but at the end of WWII, the fast rising demand for homes lured builders to the attractive terrain. Since the 1950s, it has been both residential as well as industrial. It had a Ford plant for many years. Pico Rivera lies below the Whittier Narrows, making it one of the "Gateway Cities".
In January 1958, 56 percent of the electorate voted for incorporation. They approved a Council-Manager form of government, and the name "Pico Rivera" was established for the new city. Five citizens were chosen from a slate of 24 candidates to serve as members of the first City Council and Pico Rivera officially became the 61st city in Los Angeles County.
Parks and recreation
There are nine parks and playgrounds throughout the city, including Smith Park on Rosemead Boulevard, Rivera Park on Shade Lane, Pico Park on Beverly Boulevard, Rio Vista Park, and Stream Land Park at the north end of Durfee Road. The community enjoys more than 120 acres committed to public recreational facilities. There are 18 athletic fields, two gymnasiums and four community centers, a nine-hole executive golf course, skatepark and aquatic centers.
Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course
In 1965, the Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course was built for the communal enjoyment of not only its residents and golfers, but also for those in the surrounding communities. The executive nine hole course plays to a par 29 and measures 1504 yards. The practice facilities include two putting greens and a covered driving range. Lighting throughout the Golf Course and Driving Range enables play and practice until 10:00 p.m.
Pico Rivera's Congressional Rep. Grace Napolitano, who helped with the funding, and the city officials launched a newly renovated senior center that includes high tech computer lab with 16 new computers and a modern dance room. Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the city's general fund, the $350,000 renovation of the over 20-year-old center "is an example of your tax dollars at work," Napolitano told a crowd of local officials and residents, who toured the new facility. Napolitano secured a $198,000 federal grant for the project and the city contributed $157,000 in federal stimulus funds. The fitness room has 18 exercise machines, a set of free weights and two 40-inch flat screen TVs. The activity room has a mirrored wall with a ballet bar and a state-of-the-art sound system. The billiard room, which is a popular part of the senior center, was relocated to larger quarters within the center. It now houses four new pool tables. The Pico Rivera Center, 9200 Mines Avenue, opens from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.