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The Kiwanis Club of Garden Grove was chartered on October 29, 1951. It met in various restaurants for several years before our clubhouse was constructed in the KiwanisLand park. The KiwanisLand park was initiated in 1967 when the Kiwanis Club of Garden Grove decided to devote their efforts to one major project that benefited the community, but with special emphasis on the local youth. It is a unique private park located on approximately three acres of land adjacent to the Garden Grove Boys Club at 9860 Larson Avenue.

The site was acquired through an agreement with the Boys Club (now the Boys & Girls Club) to share the Hoag Foundation grant of the land. KiwanisLand applied for non-profit corporate status and under the guidance of the professional planning firm Recreational Land Planners of Yorba Linda, the park swiftly became a reality. During the two years of construction, the project was financed by the Kiwanis Club of Garden Grove, other service clubs, organizations and individuals in the community.

The site area was developed around a recreational camp theme and includes some of the following facilities:

  • Individual overnight camp sites.
  • Campfire amphitheater with seating for 300 with lights and audio equipment.
  • A lake surrounding a rock island with waterfalls and connected by a swaying bridge.
  • Large family picnic areas with tables, gas ranges and kitchen facilities - all under a shade roof.
  • Complete boys and girls restroom facilities.

Since 1969, the Kiwanis Club of Garden Grove have maintained the grounds and buildings with our own efforts and donations as well as having the main thrust of our fund-raising events going to support the KiwanisLand park. Our efforts have been truly rewarded as children of all ages flock to the park to picnic, camp overnight or just to romp and play. Throughout the years, our park has been offered free to any organized youth group and has hosted an average of 12,000 guests annually. Today, our park still receives our full support and is our Major Emphasis project.

In recent years, a new aspect has been added to the maintenance of our park. Our staunch and tireless Kiwanis brother, the late Fred Dunn, was instrumental in negotiating an agreement to lease our park for 22-25 days each year. This agreement provided added funds to install new play ground equipment and a play area for toddlers. We have also enlarged our toilet facilities to full handicapped compliance. Also we have provided a house for a full time caretaker.

NOTE: This article was submitted by R.C. Gall, President, 1985-86.