REEDLEY – After not making the cut in 2021, the city of Reedley received a $4 million grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation for the revitalization of Camacho Park.
The state parks department announced on Dec. 28 that it was awarding $41.9 million to eight projects through the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant Program. The projects were previously left unfunded after applying to the program’s fourth round of funding more than two years ago.
“Having access to outdoor spaces is critical for all Californians and these projects will contribute to the quality of life for many people who seek local parks to improve their physical, mental and social well-being,” State Parks Director Armando Quintero said in the press release.
Reedley’s Camacho Park, located at 1000 E. North Ave., will see the funding thanks to additional appropriations made to the grant program in the state’s 2023-24 budget. Funding from the grant award will go toward improvements throughout the park, which has been home to the Reedley Little League since 1981.
Reedley Community Services Director Sarah Reid said the park has been in need of rehabilitation work for quite some time, and the city had applied to four different grant programs seeking support for those efforts but was unsuccessful.
“The news of receiving this funding is huge and will have a large impact on the park,” Reid said. “These improvements will bring more modern equipment to the field and ADA accessibility into the park.”
The three baseball/softball fields at the park will be renovated, along with the existing restrooms/storage area/concession stand facilities. Updated landscaping and lighting will be added throughout the park as well.
Other updates to the park will include a new restroom, a new group picnic area, a walking path, new signage and public art.
Grants from the Statewide Park Program are intended to create “new parks and new recreation opportunities in critically underserved communities across California,” according to the state parks department’s grant application guide.
Funding for the current rounds of the program comes from bond revenue generated by Proposition 68, which was approved by voters in 2018.
Projects funded during the fourth round submitted applications in 2020 and initial awards were announced in 2021. The Dec. 28 press release said the program received $2.4 billion in grant requests during that round and was only able to award $548.3 million to projects at the time.
Twelve projects totaling $50.7 million have been funded in Fresno County through the Statewide Park Program.
Within the city of Fresno itself, funding has gone toward the renovations of two parks, Calwa Park and Radio Park, and the construction of four new parks, including Inspiration Park, Martin Ray Reilly Park, Cultural Arts District Park and the Milburn and Dakota Development Project.
Outside of Fresno, funding has been awarded to: Orange Cove, for the construction of the new Sequoia View Community Park; Selma, for the construction of the new Rockwell Pond Park; Parlier, for the expansion of Heritage Park; Huron, for the construction of the new La Placita Park; and Kingsburg, for the renovation of the Kingsburg Dog Park.
According to the estimated Camacho Park Project timeline provided by Reid, the grand opening for the newly renovated park will be in February 2027. Reid said the designs for the improvements are anticipated to be finished by June 2025, with construction occurring from August 2025 to December 2026.