DINUBA – By next summer, Dinuba residents will have a new nature-filled walking trail to enjoy alongside other recreational opportunities the city offers.
City staff, nonprofit organization Community Services Employment Training (CSET) and other community leaders gathered at KC Vista Park along Kamm Avenue in Dinuba on Dec. 7 to break ground on a pedestrian improvement project and celebrate the opening of new basketball courts. A variety of funding sources utilized by the city made the projects possible.
“The city of Dinuba’s KC Vista Park sets an exemplary standard for the community by providing outstanding access, opportunities and resources for youth and families,” said Eddie Valero, Tulare County supervisor for District 4. “This thoughtful combination of sports facilities and natural spaces, I believe, reflects the city’s commitment to creating a diverse and enriching environment for its residents.”
The new basketball courts opened last month, and the walking trail is expected to be finished in the next six to eight months. Dinuba Parks and Community Services Director Stephanie Hurtado said the city partnered with CSET and its Sequoia Community Corps (SCC) department — a local entity certified by the California Conservation Corps — along with the Alta Healthcare District to make the projects possible.
As a nature-based walking trail, the project at KC Vista Park will be made out of decomposed granite and run around the perimeter of the park. The city is also going to plant a butterfly garden along the trail with benches and signs that inform visitors about the nature around them.
The butterfly garden will have over 100 types of pollinator plants that naturally attract butterflies. There will also be solar lighting along the trail to make it inviting, Hurtado said.
Dinuba has been working on improvements and additions to its city parks based on resident feedback gathered during the 2020 Parks Master Plan Update.
“We sought community input, and through that outreach we had heard that the community is really interested in more walking trails around parks,” Hurtado said. “That really was the foundation of trying to seek funding, was the community wanting more trails.”
Hurtado said the city has heard nothing but good things about the new basketball courts, which are right next to the city’s public pickleball courts that are also popular. On any given night, the basketball courts have been filled with Dinuba’s youth, so much so that Hurtado said the city plans to add two more basketball courts and two more pickleball courts to the area as funding allows.
Hurtado commended the city council and city manager, Luis Patlan, for their hard work to have a “forward-thinking attitude.”
“They always strive to positively impact the community and provide quality of life for its residents,” Hurtado said.
Funding for the new basketball courts came from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), budgeted by the city in Fiscal Year 2022-23; the city also used ARPA funding to add additional lighting in the parking lot. CSET provided funding for the walking trail through a nature-based solutions grant, and Alta Healthcare District granted the city money for lighting along the trail, Hurtado said.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Alta Healthcare District Board of Directors member Margie Davidian said the project was exactly the kind of thing the district aims to fund. She said that to have a place in the city where residents can support both their mental and physical health fit right into their mission.
Present at the ceremony was also Diego Cruz, a representative from Congressman Jim Costa’s office, Dinuba Vice Mayor Rachel Nerio-Guerrero, Miss Dinuba 2023 Catricia Alvarez and corps members from SCC who will be building the walking trail.
“Even if you don’t play sports, I’m glad that we’re gonna have this nature trail that you’ll be able to enjoy,” Nerio-Guerrero said. “I know me and my family enjoy coming here as well, so I hope that everyone will come out and enjoy what the park has to offer.”