BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Your trip to a local park in the future may look a little different thanks to millions of dollars the Bakersfield city council approved in revitalizations.
The Bakersfield city council approved 6.2 million dollars to revitalize 19 parks across the city. Director of recreation and parks for the city of Bakersfield Rick Anthony said this money comes at a much-needed time.
“Some of our amenities and structures should have been replaced years ago and unfortunately they just did not have the funds do what they needed to do,” said Anthony.
But things are changing for Anthony after that needed funding was approved. It’s been a long process and he understands why getting funds can be difficult.
“We compete with teachers, fire, and police and certainly those are essential and vital, but we believe that our services are just as important and just as vital,” said Anthony.
Anthony explained that since the pandemic many have seen just how essential parks are for the community. From the 6.2 million the dr. Martin Luther King Jr Park was allocated more than 300 thousand dollars and Emprezz Nontzikelelo, Chair of Infrastructure Committee at the MLK Community Initiative could not help but express her joy. As this new funding will go towards things like playground improvements and more restorations
“Wow that means a park that is being brought back to its former state of greatness,” said Nontzikelelo.
Notzikelelo explained that when she was a child the park was a place of refuge for her community but has taken a turn since.
“Three major elements gangs drugs and homelessness they must go,” said Nontzikelelo.
Notzikelelo explained that these elements are a major deterrent for park-goers, but these revitalizations can help. She also says the community will play a major role in these changes.
“Remember. Remember when? When we had all the good neighbor festival and the children had fun and had cookouts and awarded each other remember when?” said Nontzikelelo.