The City of El Paso’s newest community center featuring a library branch, spray park, playground and green space is open and ready to serve an often-neglected part of the city.

Built within the oldest and one of the poorest areas of El Paso, the Chamizal Community Center and Library, at 2119 Cypress Ave., gives residents of South El Paso a recreational hub they can call their own.

A place where students, and families can come together to access much needed resources that have been lacking in that part of town for way too long.

In addition to a library, the center grounds include the city’s ninth spray park with 11 interactive spray features to splash around in from April to November, and surrounding green space that incorporates a playground with shade canopy, picnic tables and benches, a covered court surface for basketball and futsal, and pockets of grass for other outdoor recreational activities.

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Funded through the Quality of Life Bond approved by voters in 2012, the Chamizal Community Center and Library is one of three the city will roll out this year.

The Alameda Recreational Center and Library, located on Alameda Avenue just past Ascarate Park and nearby Riverside High School, and the Lomaland Recreational Center built within Lomaland community park on Lomita Drive are the other two.

New Chamizal Community Center in South El Paso

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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