Fresno secures $ 15 million state grant for new park and improvements
Fresno’s Radio Park will undergo major upgrades and a new park will be built west of Highway 99, with a $ 15 million grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
About $ 6 million will be used to upgrade Radio Park, located at First Street and Clinton Avenue near the Fresno Art Museum. Upgrades include a water park, a small stage, and new public art sculptures. The toilets will be modernized and showers will be added.
A new $ 8.5 million park will be built on Dakota and Milburn avenues and will include two multi-use fields, two multi-use fields, an exercise area, shaded play areas, a skate park, a wall wall, and more.
The money was made available to the City of Fresno through Proposition 68, a parks and water bond passed by voters in 2018. This year, California State Parks announced the funding closely. of $ 550 million in grants awarded to more than 100 communities.
Fresno City Council member Nelson Esparza, who represents District 7 in east-central Fresno, said the grant money is long in coming and will benefit the neighborhood for decades to come.
“This project will play a key role in our aggressive efforts to rebuild Fresno and invest in neighborhoods that have been left behind,” Esparza said. “I really can’t tell you how delighted I am. Today was a big day for Fresno City Parks.
City council member Esmeralda Soria, who represents Highway 99 west, said the new park had been in the works for 30 years when the city of Fresno promised residents a four-acre park. For years other parks were built, but Dakota and Milburn Park was forgotten, prompting residents to speak up.
“I heard loud and clear when I ran for office eight years ago now that they expected us to build this park,” she said. “So I made a commitment. I said if you elect me to the job, I will work hard to make it a reality and keep this promise that has been made for decades to these residents.
During the pandemic, hundreds of residents attended Zoom meetings and drive-thru events to express their vision for the park, Soria said. These efforts likely made an impression on the state, she said.
“That’s what I’m proud of because, really, I think it’s happening because the community wanted it to happen,” Soria said. “It’s like the best news ever – the best early Christmas present.”
Sandra Celedon, President and CEO of Fresno Building Healthy Communities, congratulated the city on winning the grant. She said it’s a great example of how to leverage money from Measure P, the city’s new sales tax on parks, for additional investment. Fresno BHC has championed access to construction parks in the city for years.
“We need to continue to ensure that ALL existing parks like Radio Park are fully renovated and brought up to health and safety standards, starting with those most in need in South Fresno,” Celedon said. “This is a great opportunity to ensure that all Fresnans have access to quality parks in their neighborhoods, as we create more regional outdoor assets, such as expanding access to the San Joaquin River. “
Other cities receive money
Other communities in Fresno County also received funding in the latest round of grants.
The City of Huron will use $ 4.6 million in grants to build the new La Placita Park, which will include an amphitheater, indoor play area, three open turf areas, exercise stations, a kiosk / plaza with a monument, restrooms with snack bar, three picnic areas, educational exhibits, security cameras, landscaping and lighting throughout the park.
The City of Kingsburg will renovate the existing Kingsburg Dog Park with $ 1.2 million. The renovation will include the construction of a new play structure, an all-weather walking track, toilets with lighting and three shade structures. The landscaping and lighting will also be renovated.
The Town of Orange Cove will use $ 1.8 million to build the new Sequoia Community Park, which will include a baseball field, soccer field, grass volleyball court, playground, walking trail with exercise stations, parking, restrooms, landscaping and LED lighting.
In Tulare County, the town of Visalia received $ 7.8 million in funding for a new park, and the town of Woodlake received $ 8.4 million for a new park.
Other updates from Fresno Park
Also on Wednesday, the Maxie L. Parks Community Center in southwest Fresno reopened after a 15-month shutdown caused by the discovery that the area was contaminated with toxic chemicals from a former cleaning company in dry. Community members were unhappy not only with the closure of the community center, but also with the time it took for the city to notify residents.
Wednesday’s reopening was celebrated with a kids’ fun zone, arts and crafts, resource fair and COVID-19 vaccinations.
“I am happy to welcome our community back to the building,” said city councilor Miguel Arias, who represents the region. “The stability of this community center is vital to the surrounding neighborhoods, offering both activities and programs for young people, vocational training, meals for seniors and essential services, including cooling and warming centers. in bad weather. We look forward to reconnecting with residents to celebrate its reopening and highlight the renovations and renovations that have taken place over the past 15 months. “
Arias is also proposing to rename Hyde Park to a more accurate description, “Hyde Landfill,” at Thursday’s city council meeting.
The site at 319 W. Florence Ave. in South Fresno is a 16-acre former landfill adjacent to the Darling Render Mill and Foster Farms Mill. Arias’s proposal asks the city to continue maintaining the space, but it would be removed from the city’s green space area and no longer identified as a park in town planning documents.
“To refer to Hyde Park as a ‘park’ is a misnomer and does a disservice to the community as it is not a quality green space with park facilities,” says the proposed resolution by Arias.