SAN BERNARDINO – The City of San Bernardino, in partnership with the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, are pleased to announce the receipt a $5 million grant to construct a new public park on the northwest corner of 9th and E Streets in San Bernardino, California. The grant funds are from the Proposition 84 bond approved by the state voters in 2006 to construct new parks in densely populated, economically distressed, and park-deficient neighborhoods.
“This exciting grant award is the culmination of years of hard work by the City, Valley Water District, and city residents to develop a smart, strategic, and efficient plan for a vibrant new park in a neighborhood where park space is desperately needed,” said Mayor Pat Morris. “This new park, together with the sbX rapid transit system and the downtown entertainment district, sow the seeds for revitalization of the city’s historic E Street corridor that for decades has been in decline.” The Valley Water District is playing a critical role by making land available for purchase for the new park. “Valley Water District views this as a fantastic opportunity to partner with the City to utilize a portion of property we acquired for possible future water facilities for construction of a new park to help revitalize the neighborhood and complement any future water facility,” said Pat Milligan, President of the Valley Water District. “It’s the kind of partnership the community demands of public agencies … utilize our limited taxpayer resources to serve multiple objectives that benefit residents and businesses.”
The new park is approximately 2.5 acres and will contain a host of amenities that were planned and designed last year by community residents during a series of meetings between residents and professional park architects and planners. Park features include: a skate area, splash playground, basketball court, grass field, shade structures, and picnic area. The design is low-maintenance with “Inland Empire Garden Friendly” plants for continuing education on the beauty and benefits of low-water plant varietals suited for the Inland Southern California region. “Second ward residents and businesses are very excited to see this new $5 million amenity in our neighborhood,” said 2nd Ward Councilman Robert Jenkins. “My number one priority is economic revitalization for our city, and a $5 million grant-funded park in the middle of the distressed E Street corridor creates opportunities to attract new investment that can help reinvigorate struggling businesses and families in this area.”
The Proposition 84 park grant process has been extremely competitive. Almost 900 applications requesting in excess of $2.5 billion have been submitted for the first two rounds of grants. With limited funding available, the State has only been able to award approximately 130 grants for a total of $365 million. “I am extremely pleased the City of San Bernardino was awarded a much needed and deserved Proposition 84 grant,” said Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter. “When I saw the amount of community energy and participation that went into developing a compelling and unique plan for constructing a new park in a distressed urban neighborhood, I made sure the State Parks Department paid close attention to the City’s application.”
“This new park project is an example of what voters envisioned when they approved the 2006 Bond Act,” said Sedrick Mitchell, State Parks Deputy Director for External Affairs. “Children, seniors, families, and future generations will have a place to play, exercise, and enjoy nature within walking distance from their homes. These bond funds will make the community’s vision a reality.” CAPTION: The community-designed plan for the new park. It is hoped the park can open in mid to late 2014 in conjunction with the opening of the new sbX transit system on the E Street corridor.
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