Regional Partners Celebrate North Shore Community Park Funding

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

State investments will expand opportunities for Community Parks in the Eastern Coachella Valley


Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and Desert Recreation District (District) are thrilled to celebrate the combined work of a coalition of regional partners, which has resulted in the successful acquisition of state funding for the North Shore Community Park project. This $800,339 grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Housing-Related Parks Program will bring about critical investments into areas, most in need within our Eastern Coachella Valley communities.   


The District is hopeful that Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia's proposed Park Bond, AB 18, will pass the legislature and succeed onto the 2018 ballot. The measure will bring about much needed and long overdue investments into our states recreational infrastructure, resulting in immeasurable health and economic benefits. Uniquely, Garcia's bill levels the playing field for rural communities, such as ours, to competitively pursue state park grant funding.


“This infusion of state funds will go a long way in bringing the North Shore Community Park project to fruition. We are celebrating a unique opportunity for our state to play a role in truly transforming a community. This resident driven project will be the first of its kind for this unincorporated, rural community.  While exciting there is still much more work to be done, more communities of need and a bigger picture of parks possibilities to focus on,” exclaimed Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Chair of the California Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife. “I want to thank the Desert Recreation District and Riverside County Supervisor Perez, for their support of our legislative endeavors to spur additional investments in outdoor recreational opportunities, particularly in underserved, disadvantaged communities that lack means to support park infrastructure. Investments in parks are investments in health, wellness and the promise of increased prosperity in areas of immense need.”


In addition to AB 18, Assemblymember Garcia is coauthor of AB 1483, a measure that would allocate $50 million into the afore mentioned California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Housing-Related Parks Program whose funding has just expired.  


Desert Recreation District offers a special thanks to the Board of Supervisors and staff at Riverside County for making this opportunity a reality. The team at the Economic Development Agency and Housing Authority, Transportation and Land Management and the Fourth District Supervisor's office pulled together under extremely tight deadlines to get all the necessary eligibility requirements met.  Desert Recreation District, and its many partners on these much-needed projects, are grateful for the dedication and commitment to getting this done.  


Desert Recreation District General Manager Kevin Kalman explained “This funding will be combined with several other grant awards and the Desert Recreation District's capital reserves to build a five-acre community park in North Shore.  The District and its non-profit design partner, Kounkey Design Initiative (KDI), have been actively engaged with the North Shore Community since 2013 in the planning and design of this project. We expect to award a contract for construction on August 9 and break ground in September,” Kalman went on to say “We are thrilled for the North Shore Community who has stuck with us through this long process of planning and fundraising.” 


The North Shore Community Park is the first of three planned parks in the Eastern Coachella Valley to be constructed.  Desert Recreation District is also planning the first community parks in the communities of Oasis and Thermal.   The District thanks and supports Garcia's efforts.


Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the Chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife.  He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland. He is author to AB 18, The California Clean Water, Climate, Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 and coauthor to AB 1483, Housing-Related Parks Program.


Desert Recreation District (DRD) provides quality recreation experiences to residents throughout the Greater Coachella Valley.  DRD manages, maintains and assists in maintaining over 30 parks and recreation facilities; creates and delivers quality programs, services and classes; and, facilitates leisure opportunities through partnerships that encourage residents to engage in healthy lifestyles and wellness activities. DRD host’s events such as the Senior Games and partners with health care organizations such as Kaiser Permanente to fund scholarships for swim lessons and junior lifeguard classes. DRD is funded through tax dollars, special assessments, grants and nominal charges assigned to select classes and events. Over the last year, DRD offered over 2,800 classes and programs and more than 200 special events.