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LA State Historic Park reopens today in downtown

After more than three years of renovations and 16 years of delays, the Los Angeles State Historic Park reopens Saturday morning.

New amenities include an orchard of young citrus trees planted by Fallen Fruit, an elevated pedestrian walkway in the center of the park, an entrance lined with historic cobblestone and grass — lots and lots of grass, covering flat swaths of land and small hills alike. Some of it is even dotted with poppies.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and California governor Jerry Brown will be on-hand at the day-long celebration, which includes musical performances by Quetzal, Subsuelo and Shaolin Monks.

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The 32-acre park runs along Spring Street between Chinatown and the L.A. River. The state acquired the land in 2001 but couldn't open the park until now due to budgeting constraints and lengthy construction.

Many Angelenos will know the park as the site of Not A Cornfield, a 2005 project by artist Lauren Bon, who grew corn on the land.

Park superintendent Sean Woods says the site offers a unique perspective of the city: "We like to say you are situated in the cradle of Los Angeles because we're surrounded by some of the oldest and most historic communities — have deep-rooted connections to the beginning of the city."

The site will host more cultural events and, in June, a restaurant is slated to open at the southern end of the park.

You can hear more about the Los Angeles State Historic Park on KPCC's Off-Ramp, Saturday at noon and Sunday at 6 p.m. on 89.3 KPCC.