North Las Vegas’ Nicholas E. Flores Jr. Park was named quietly.
A unanimous Aug. 2, 1995, City Council vote saw Flores, the late community activist and youth sports volunteer, honored with a 5-acre park at 4133 Allen Lane, just a few miles away from his home near College Park.
The park, home to five picnic gazebos, two playground installations, a handful of shuffleboard courts and the only non-swimming water feature in the city parks system, is wedged between Silver Mesa Recreation Center and Lucille Bruner Elementary School, just west of Cheyenne High School.
A keystone of the city’s 58-acre, $21.1 million parks expansion in the late 1990s, the park has long been one of the city’s most in-demand birthday party and picnic spots, though few at the city recalled who served as its namesake.
“I guess the park was built about 16 years ago,” said North Las Vegas spokeswoman Juliet Casey. “One (department) said they thought Nick Flores was a police officer. Apparently, a third party’s vague recollection is that he was a community activist involved in youth sports.”
Surrounded by glitzy new recreation centers and packed public pools — and marooned on all sides by single-family homes — Flores Park is one of the more unassuming sites in the city’s park system.
Former City Councilwoman Mary Kincaid said that’s exactly how Flores would have liked it.
Kincaid, who served non-consecutive City Council stints in the 1980s and mid-1990s, is one of five council members who backed naming the park for the longtime Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member five years after his death in 1990.
It would have been easier, she said, to name the park for a fallen police officer or to pick up on one of dozens suggestions submitted by local elementary school students.
Now almost 20 years later, Kincaid reflected on Flores’ tireless involvement with area Pop Warner football, Little League and American Legion baseball teams.
He was, she said, the right choice.
“I remember him very well,” the four-term City Council member said. “He was very active in the Hispanic community and with the Boy Scouts. I remember he was always very active on the (Parks and Recreation) advisory board, always speaking up for parks.”
For Kincaid, the move was also about shining a spotlight on a man who tended to shy away from it.
“He was just an easygoing guy and a big advocate for kids,” Kincaid said. “He was an all-around nice guy, but he wasn’t one who looked for or expected accolades, even though he deserved them.”
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter James DeHaven at email@example.com or 702-477-3839.