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Kern County parks will see new improvements

"Our folks can have access to new bathrooms.”
Heritage Park
Posted at 10:35 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 01:35:46-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — More improvements are coming to Kern County parks, all to help community residents be able to use and enjoy these spaces.

Three parts across Kern are getting millions of dollars to help make these parks safer and more inviting.

“That means that a park in District 5 that totally needs updating gets the update that the community can really see and utilize and be proud,” said Ucedrah Osby, Parks and Recreation Commissioner of District 5.

Through a grant approved this week from Clean California through the California Department of Transportation, the county is getting a $9 million award to help improve parks and public safety.

Ally Soper with Kern County said this has been a priority in recent years.

“Parks are very important spaces in our community, especially in neighborhoods where they’re underserved and those residents deserve clean, state of the art spaces that then they can go to.”

The three parks receiving funds are Heritage Park, Mojave East Park and Lost Hills Park.

Ucedrah Osby said Heritage Park is one of the areas in east Bakersfield that officials say have been overlooked.

“Be able to use what we have right around the corner at my park, and I’m sure others do too.”

Some of the improvements to the park are going to be renovating a field. It’s worn out and can be later used for softball, soccer, and even new equipment as well so that kids can play here.

“They’re going to redo the bathroom. Now that is a huge one, right! So, our folks can have access to brand new bathrooms.”

Osby said it’s important that every park has the facilities that residents need.

“We don’t have to pile up in our cars and go miles away from our neighborhoods, from our homes to access to great equipment, right.”

Other updates to Heritage Park will include new lighting, shade structures, improving landscaping, building a new amphitheater, and ADA-compliant walk paths as well.

Osby said it’s important to include public input in these processes.

“Are these ideas great for them? Not just you know, us making the decisions but is this okay for your family? Is this good enough for your family?”

The projects need to be completed by June 30, 2024.

Soper said these projects help elevate communities and can bring people together.

“Upping our parks, elevating our game in these public spaces, that is one small way that we can show our residents that we care about them.”