California Expands Outdoor Access Across the State

Round four of Statewide Park Program awards $41.9 million for eight projects in Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Yolo counties

SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom today highlighted $41.9 million in new grants announced by California State Parks for eight projects that expand outdoor access in underserved communities across the state.

The grants were awarded through round four of the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant Program, which has to date provided approximately $1.2 billion to California communities for new and renovated outdoor recreation spaces.

The Statewide Park Program advances the state’s commitment to expanding safe and equitable outdoor access for all Californians, including through the California State Park Adventure Pass and State Library Parks Pass programs which make it easier for children and families to explore our State Park System.

“All Californians deserve to experience the natural beauty our state has to offer, and I’m proud of the work we’re doing to expand outdoor access, regardless of your zip code or income,” said Governor Newsom. “These grants will bring new parks, playgrounds, sports fields and other opportunities for communities across the state to spend quality time outside and enjoy the many benefits for the heart, mind and body.”

“A part of our work to expand outdoor access to all Californians includes meeting communities where they are at and ensuring they have parks and other outdoor spaces for regular movement and play,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “These grants will enable more Californians of all ages — especially youth and families — to reap the physical, social-emotional, and cognitive benefits of outdoor recreation and time spent in nature.”

Prior Statewide Park Program projects in Lakeport (top) and Placerville (bottom). Photos courtesy of California State Parks 

The eight awarded grant projects announced today are:

Fresno County

  • Reedley: City of Reedley, Camacho Park Project: $4,049,992 to construct a new walking path, group picnic area, restroom, signage, and public art. Renovate three existing baseball/softball fields, existing restroom/storage/concession stand, and landscaping and lighting throughout the park.

Kern County

  • Bakersfield: County of Kern, Potomac Park Neighborhood Project: $7,384,000 to construct a new soccer field with lighting, splash pad with shade, dog park, basketball court with lighting, three shade structures over existing picnic tables, walkways with lighting, parking lot with lighting, and restroom. Renovate the existing group picnic pavilion, basketball court with lighting, inclusive playground with lighting, and landscaping throughout the park.

Los Angeles County

  • Hawthorne: Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, Zela Davis Park Renovation: $963,060 to construct a new playground with shade, basketball court, picnic area with shade, walking path and hardscape elements, exercise equipment, public art, restroom building, and landscaping and lighting throughout the park.
  • Los Angeles: Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, Jefferson Park Project: $5,800,000 to create a new park which will include a new playground with shade, sand and water play area, picnic area with shade, exercise area, public art, skate spot, walking path, and lighting and landscaping throughout the park.
  • Paramount: City of Paramount, Paramount Park Community Center Expansion: $7,372,213 to construct a new expansion of an overused center’s senior center and renovate existing building spaces to create dedicated senior activity spaces. The expansion and renovations would include fitness, music, craft, billiards, card, and conference rooms, two screened outdoor lounge areas, reconfiguration of the stage area to make it fully accessible and viewable from the auditorium/dining space, and installation of landscaping along the exterior of the center.

Sacramento County

  • Sacramento: Southgate R.P.D., Jack N. Sheldon Park & Florin Creek Trail: $8,500,000 to acquire approximately 8.77 acres and construct a new dog park with lighting, disc golf course, basketball court, exercise equipment stations, four pickleball courts with lighting, gazebo and BBQ area, practice wall, playground, soccer field with lighting, multiuse trails, informal trails, electric vehicle charging stations, ping-pong with shade cover, educational arboretum, pathways with lighting, two shade structures with picnic tables, public art, and lighting and landscaping throughout the park. Renovate six tennis courts with lighting, a multiuse trail, playground, soccer field and parking with lighting.

San Joaquin County

  • Stockton: City of Stockton, Van Buskirk Park Renovation: $7,016,086 to construct a new skate park, two full-size basketball courts, and BMX/bike trails with lighting and landscaping.

Yolo County

  • Knight’s Landing: County of Yolo, Knights Landing Community Park: $814,649 to create a new park which will include a new soccer field, little league/softball field, full-size basketball court, ball wall, children’s playground, perimeter 6’ wide walking/jogging path, shaded picnic and BBQ area, open natural grass area, parking lot, plaza area with picnic tables, shade trees, and farmers market/food truck areas for community gathering space. Renovate existing restroom.

Round four of the program received the highest amount requested in State Parks’ nearly 50-year history of grant administration. The $41.9 million announced today was provided through the 2023-24 State Budget. Funding for the grant program was first made available through Proposition 84 (2006 Bond Act) Sustainable Communities and Climate Change Reduction. Proposition 68 (2018 Bond Act) and additional general fund money continue this program’s legacy.

Since 2000, California State Parks’ Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) has administered more than $3 billion in local assistance grants from a variety of funding sources. The funding has established indoor and outdoor recreation in every corner of the state, built trails, acquired and restored sensitive habitat, built natural and cultural interpretative facilities, and fostered outdoor natural experiences for thousands of children, youth and families. Approximately 8,000 California parks have been created or improved through these grant programs. To view previous park projects, visit this link.