News 10 (California) - by Jeff Maher
You may have seen construction going on at some city parks throughout Sacramento. That's because many city park summer projects are coming online, but with the tight budget, we wanted to know how the city is paying for those projects.
Turns out, the city is not only using grant funding, but is also getting a lot of help from neighbors who are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
At Woodbine Park near 24th street and Florin Road, neighbors painted walls that were covered with graffiti, and did their own landscaping. On top of that, City Councilman Jay Schenirer was able to solicit $1,000 in private donations to fund a large mural. A sketch artist is working on preliminary designs for it now.
Prior to the new improvements, the park was known for gang activity, crime, and graffiti. Adrian Cervantes described how the park used to be.
"A lot dirtier, dirty, a lot more people doing drugs out here, the bathrooms would be closed and I would say in the last couple, four or five months, it's completely changed," he says. "People stopped doing that, more families are coming out here and gathering around, so that's a good sign. Kids need to come out and play at a park you know and taking graffiti to push people away from that, you have more family activities out here, it's already improved a lot."
At Southside Park near 6th and T, a $140,000 federal grant is allowing the city to build a group picnic area. At Camellia Park off Cougar Drive just south of Elder Creek Road, the city is about to make improvements using $16,000 in community development block grant money.
And at 19th and Q, the city is removing contaminated soil in preparing for building a new park. The remediation is going to cost about half a million dollars. But $200,000 of it is being paid for by and EPA federal grant. The city will pay for the actual park using impact fees from private developers.