The late Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera may be gone but not forgotten. A new park was opened last month in Long Beach, the singer’s hometown, with a 125 foot-long mural honoring her life and heritage. Nicknamed the Neighborhood Butterfly it is to serve as a sanctuary for those seeking strength and hope.
According to a statement, “On Dec. 16, 2014, the Long Beach City Council agreed with recommendations from the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee and voted unanimously to approve naming the park in honor of Ms. Rivera. Jenni Rivera Park was dedicated on July 2, 2015.”
Born and raised in Long Beach, Rivera was an alum of Long Beach Polytechnic High School and California State University Long Beach. Councilmember Dee Andrews initiated Rivera into the Poly Walk of Fame on July 2012 for her career achievements and charitable work through the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation. The foundation continues to help the sick, orphans, single mothers and provide scholarships for students of all nationalities.
Rivera was a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, actress, television producer, and entrepreneur. She was named the “Top Latin Artist of 2013” by Billboard Magazine, and her 20 million albums sold made her the highest-earning Banda singer of all time.
She and six other people in her team died in a plane crash on Dec. 9, 2012, after performing at a concert in Monterrey, Mexico at the age of 43.
The playground was built with $260,000 from Measure A funds and is now open as the Jenni Rivera Memorial Park located in 2001 Walnut Ave.
By Jocelyn Torralba