As reported by the L.A. Times on March 18th, 1985, Carl Thornton Park, having been declared the best-designed neighborhood park in California, was dedicated in a ceremony attended by the widow and daughter of the late city manager after whom the park is named. Thornton was city manager from 1951 to 1972.
The history of this 30-acre park, located in Santa Ana on Segerstrom Avenue goes back to the early 60s when the city purchased a 35-acre parcel at Raitt Street and Segerstrom Avenue. Original plans called for Santa Ana Stadium to be built on the site. After officials decided to build the stadium in the Civic Center area instead, and due to unstable subsoil conditions, the land developed into a marsh and lay vacant for 10 years, used only as a landfill.
The park now features a two-acre lake stocked with fish, multiple field areas for recreation, a child playground, and wildlife trail featuring various habitats