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.
Thanks to measure N the Bakersfield City Council approved $6.2 million to revitalize several parks across the city and they’ve recently broken ground on their first project.
“I don't see how we would be able to approach some of the things we’ve done in the last couple of years as recently as the last few months without measure N,” said Rick Anthony, Director of Recreation and Parks For the city of Bakersfield.
While the city council approved measure N back in 2018 the funding for projects like the park revitalizations are starting now.
Anthony said because of the funding from measure N they were able to break ground at their 1st park and will begin work on 3 additional parks within the next 2 months.
“We’re looking forward to getting parks such as Wilson Park, University Park. Windsor Park and Grisham Park and that’s just an exciting time because these playgrounds are more than 15-20 years old and well past their due,” said Anthony.
Anthony said they are hoping to have the first four parks completed by wintertime for residents to enjoy.
One park that has needed a lot of attention has been MLK Park. At the moment the park renovations are on hold so that the city can address larger issues.
“Instead of that playground going in we’re going to hold that off a little bit I felt like we kept putting a band-aid on something that needed to be a lot larger and we’re going to have a separate public engagement,” said Anthony.
One issue many park-goers face is safety but Anthony said they’ve implemented several initiatives to solve this.
“We’ve relocated some of our current maintenance staff and have assigned them to some of the problematic parts and we’re just calling it a park attendant program,” said Anthony.
In addition to the park attendant program, Anthony is also trying to implement a park ranger program instead of calling on law enforcement but said the community can also get involved in protecting their parks.
“Studies have shown over and over that when a community when a certain organization starts to care for their park their eyes and their ears and their love for that park goes a long way in helping to stop some of the outliers some of the unsafe and illegal activities that go along in that park,” said Anthony.
Bakersfield has created an adopt a park program where communities and organizations can adopt a park and work together to keep it clean.