San Bernardino breaks ground on new park
The park, funded with a $5 million state grant the city applied for in 2011, is tentatively scheduled for a grand opening in October or November.
“I am looking forward to the construction of our new park,” Mayor Carey Davis said in prepared remarks for the ceremony. “It will provide an opportunity for children, families and all residents to enjoy a variety of amenities from basketball to soccer, and will allow our community to connect. I thank all the partners that helped make this a reality for our residents.”
Partnership was key for building the park.
The city initially received a Proposition 84 grant from a state fund to build parks in areas without enough (the money can’t be used for existing parks), but its bankruptcy filing jeopardized that grant. The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District then agreed to be responsible for construction and maintenance. That’s done through a joint powers authority — a board consisting of members of the water district board and City Council, led by Davis — called the San Bernardino Regional Water Resources Authority.
And the community plays a part, too — officials are encouraging the public to suggest names for the park. A member of the public may submit a nomination form along with 100 signatures to the city manager’s office.
The park will include a skate park, a soccer practice field, basketball courts, climbing structures and a splash pad that recycles water to irrigate different types of water-efficient trees and plants at the park. The park will also include scenic picnic areas and fitness stations for adults.
“This park is in an area that is very underserved, and it will encourage activity to lower obesity, which is very important,” said water board member Gil Navarro, citing statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that show less than a third of high school students get the 60 minutes of recommended daily exercise. “My only concern is that we have unscrupulous people that want to vandalize or take advantage of equipment. We’ll have a gate and a fence, and Valley District stepped up to the plate and offered to pay all maintenance and repairs costs up until the day the city is ready to take over.”