$5 Million State Grant Awarded for Accessible Park in Fresno

Plans for a new park in Fresno, designed to be fully accessible to disabled and able bodied users alike, has gotten a big boost from the State of California. The City has been awarded a $5 million grant by the California Parks Department to help underwrite the cost of a Universally Accessible Park proposed for Fresno.

The total cost for the park is estimated to be $7.25 million. The project is envisioned as a regional destination that will attract visitors from the City and throughout the San Joaquin Valley that will include residents from diverse economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. The park’s amenities will provide unique recreational opportunities for individuals with special physical, mental and emotional needs.

“This is a proud moment for Fresno. Our state leaders have recognized the value of this park and the needs it will meet across the community and our entire region,” Mayor Ashley Swearengin said. “The project has garnered wide support from organizations offering in-kind services, assistive technology support and partnership opportunities. I am eager to finalize details and break ground in 2011.”

The park’s universally accessible amenities will create a unique setting to help improve the behavioral, emotional, and mental health of all visitors young and old alike, including:

• Softball/baseball/multi-purpose playfield with rubberized surface and shaded bleachers
• Three age-appropriate, play structures with UV shade over each
• Water spray park play area
• Basketball courts with rubberized play surface
• Skateboard Court area
• Picnic areas with preschool tables
• Community building with family restrooms, concession stand and a computer lab with assistive technology
• Sensory garden and sensory wall
• Wheelchair accessible dog park with artificial turf
• Two 50-foot shade pavilions
• Two parking lots designed with plenty of spaces for special needs vehicles

The project will also add new park space to a critically underserved area. The 7.8 acre park will is slated to be built west of Highway 99 near Gettysburg and Polk avenues.

“This area has grown tremendously in recent years but services have not always followed that growth,” said City Council member Blong Xiong, who represents District 1. “After five years of hard work and collaboration with many organizations and community members, the underserved residents west of Highway 99 will soon be able to enjoy the park they have long been promised. I want to thank Randy Cooper and his PARCS staff for their commitment to obtaining funding for this project.”