BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Friday the Kern County Parks Division shared details about the work they have been doing behind the scenes to help give local parks in your community a face lift.
County Park Division officials said they have spent the last four months creating design plans for five different parks in the community.
The Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program (SPP) that passed under Proposition 68 in 2018, is giving Kern County park division officials a chance to transform life in the park.
“Basically it is some grant funding from the state to be able to get these parks looking beautiful again in our county, but it’s not just our county it’s state wide,” Kern County Western Regional Parks and Facilities Manager Isacc Preston said.
According to Preston the SPP grant essentially created nearly $250 million in funding that is now available for parks in California that qualify.
In order to qualify for state funding the state requires county officials to look at two factors around park areas.
“The amount of the population that is living in poverty, as well as the park space per one thousand residents,” Preston said.
After looking at all of the parks in Kern County Preston and his team in the county parks division determined where the disadvantaged and severely disadvantages areas near parks were located.
"So were doing five here, one of them is Heritage Park, another one of them is going to be Potomac Park, we have Mojave East, Lamont and Virginia Park.” Preston said.
According to Preston they held 25 community meetings to figure out what people wanted to see in each area, and from there the park divison started creating designs for the communities vision.
“Most of the word we got back was a spray park, they all want water in their parks. Each one of our schematic designs have a really nice water park,” Preston said.
Many of the designs also include new skate parks, walking paths, outdoor amphitheaters, extra lights, athletic courts and workout stations.
After their analysis and designs were complete, park officials presented it to the Kern County Board of Supervisors and the board passed their resolution on July 23, thus allowing the parks division to ultimately submit their grant applications for each park.
“Applying for a total of $8.5 million per park,” Preston said.
If the state approves the grant by the end of 2019, Preston said community members may start to see their parks take new shape in 2020.
“Probably no later than the June July time frame of 2020,” Preston said.
Friday the park division already stated submitting the grant applications to the state and they said they will have their submission complete by Monday August 5, for all five parks.