Money, land and collaboration bring about Santa Ana park space
A variety of grants and strategies are used to develop park space in Santa Ana.
By RON GONZALES / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
SANTA ANA – These park projects, which include both completed and planned facilities, will create 22 new acres of open space in Santa Ana in the next two to three years.
•The expansion of the Jerome Park/ Monte Vista Elementary joint-use park on 4.6 acres has been approved. The city is using $958,613 in federal community development block grant funds.
•Willard Intermediate School joint-use park construction, which will begin this December on 4.55 acres. The city is using a $4.4 million Proposition 84 grant. The measure, approved in 2006, funds water quality efforts as well as parks facilities.
“The joint use project for Willard Intermediate School will provide a synthetic turf/ all weather track and hard court area for the students to enjoy during school time and the community adjacent to Willard Intermediate School with facilities that are safe and available year-round,” said Joe Dixon, Santa Ana Unified assistant superintendent of facilities/ governmental relations.
•Planning is under way for the development of a 3.51-acre eco-friendly educational park at Centennial Park, where the city’s fire academy was.
• Planning and development of a community center and park on 2.7 acres at Roosevelt/ Walker elementary schools are under way. The city is using a $5 million Proposition 84 grant.
“The joint-use project at Roosevelt Elementary School will provide a permanent 5,000-square-foot pre-school building in place of portables,” said Dixon. “And thanks to our partnership with the city of Santa Ana, there will be an additional 5,000-square-foot building to provide community services. Also, there will be enhanced recreational facilities such as basketball courts and a new field.”
•The Edna Park expansion will add 1.97 acres, along with riparian trees, restroom upgrades and more. The project cost is $442,615, which includes a Proposition 50/ California River Parkways grant of $400,000; park fee funds of $24,000; and federal block grant funds of $18,615.
•The McFadden/ Orange site, known as the Pacific Electric Park site, has cleared environmental review and will be developed as a new park on 1.39 acres. The city used $300,000 in city park fee money to purchase the final parcel, and has spent $300,000 from the same fund on planning. Total cost estimates and a funding analysis will come later.
•The City Council on Sept. 4 will take up a joint-use agreement with Santa Ana Unified to develop Garfield Community Center on .48 acres. The city is using $2.5 million in federal block grant funds.
“The joint-use project for Garfield Elementary School will be a community center/multi-purpose room,” said Dixon. “Students will have a dedicated multi-purpose room during school hours, and the community will have a facility to utilize when school is not is session.”
•A second community garden will be added on .13 acres at Madison Park, along with a half basketball court, and will be a joint-use facility with Santa Ana Unified. The city is using $376,000 in federal block grant funds.
“Madison Elementary School students will be able to use the adjacent park to provide them with hands-on gardening experiences in a safe setting,” Dixon said.
Santa Ana River and bikeways:
•Three new parks by the Santa Ana River bike trail have been completed, with grand openings expected in the fall. They include
McFadden Triangle on .78 acres. The city used city park fee funds and a grant from the state Habitat Conservation Fund.
Fairview Triangle on .3 acres. The city used $150,000 in city park fee funds and from the state Recreational Trails Program.
Seventeenth Street/Santa Ana River site, on .66 acres. The city used $229,615 in city park fee funds and funds from Proposition 50. a 2002 measure that authorized funds for river parkways.
•The first phase of a 1-mile extension of the Flower Street bike trail has been completed, from Alton Avenue to MacArthur Boulevard. The second phase, from MacArthur to Sunflower Avenue, will be completed later this fiscal year. Funding for the $2.5 million project comes from three federal and state sources – the Bicycle Transportation Account, Recreational Trails Program, and Transportation Enhancement funds.
•Lighthouse Community Center, a ministry of Mariners Church, in 2010 opened a park at McFadden and Standard avenues on .66 acres and Latino Health Access this fall is expected to open a .58-acre park and community center on East Fourth Street, using a $3.5 million state Proposition 84 grant.