Nancy Boyd Park is a beautiful park that offers a long list of amenities, but what makes it special is that it was created to remember a special young woman from Martinez, Nancy Boyd. She graduated from Alhambra High in June 1960. She was the editor of the yearbook, a “basketball sweetheart,” and a member of the student council. She died on March 2, 1963 in a Philippines airplane crash while working for the U.S. Peace Corps as a teacher.
The world of the park opens up to you when you enter on Church Street where you’ll see a tall monument that was a fountain. The "International Peace Corps Fountain" was specially built for this park. Once you get close enough you’ll see unique stones in the rim of the fountain. The stones represent the 50 countries in which Peace Corps volunteers had been on assignment in 1965. The fountain was dedicated on October 24, 1965, United Nations Day. The next day the newspaper ran a story about the event, and captured this quote from Martha Allshouse, a Peace Corps representative, “Water is a symbol of the spirit of life – it renews, and reenergizes. Nancy Boyd entered the Peace Corps to work with others. In creating this park and this monument, the people of Martinez have learned to work together and have learned something about other countries – that they are not so far away after all.” The Martinez Historical Society has copies of the full story.
The fountain is not working right now, but on the day I was there, children were playing on the globe in the center of the fountain. They made it look like it is indeed a small world. Even without water, the spirit of life surrounds this memorial. And the spirit of this park brings people together.
The park offers many ways to interact and relax. Behind the fountain are the restrooms, some benches, and a walkway. Walk toward the end of the parking lot to find play area for small children. Ahead are swings, including toddler swings, and a larger play structure for older children. There are several benches where parents can sit while their kids play. Follow the path toward the ball field and you'll pass picnic tables and mature trees. The picnic tables with barbecues are covered by trellises woven with vines, which provide protection from the sun, and charm. The grassy area throughout the park is perfect for kids to run around in a game of tag.
Continue on the path and you’ll find a big basketball court and the baseball field. At the far end of the field is a walking bridge. There are many upgrades to the park that make it feel brand new. Above the baseball field are three lighted tennis courts. It would be easy to spend an entire day at this park. There’s so much room, so much to do, it’s peaceful, beautiful, and its name honors the memory of a young woman who joined the Peace Corps to make a difference in the world, and she did, both abroad and here at home.
Do you spend time in Nancy Boyd Park?