Mayor Stephen Cassidy and the San Leandro City Council announced that the City has been awarded approximately $1.38 million dollars in new state grant funding that will be used to revitalize parks and recreational opportunities at three locations in San Leandro. The City plans to invest the funds into two of its community parks: Siempre Verde Park and Thrasher Park, as well as to create a new interactive art exhibit in the heart of downtown.
“Within 21 municipal parks and nearby world class regional parks, San Leandro is a park city. We have invested substantial sums over the past four years in improving Marina Park, other parks and athletic facilities across the City. This grant will allow us to significantly upgrade Siempre Verde and Thrasher Parks as well as create a new, exciting exhibit in partnership with the San Francisco-based Exploratorium in downtown San Leandro,” stated Mayor Cassidy. “This grant serves as another example of the success of our City in obtaining state and federal resources for the benefit of all San Leandrans.”
The selected projects are as follows:
• Siempre Verde Park: The existing outdated playground equipment will be replaced to meet safety codes and enhance user play experience. The group picnic area also will be completely renovated to make it more attractive and functional for users, as well as to meet modern disability access requirements.
• Thrasher Park: The existing outdated playground equipment will be replaced with modernized equipment designed to meet safety codes and enhance play experience, and a new, substantially taller safety fence also will be installed in order to prevent balls from entering the play area.
• Science-based Interactive Exhibit at Joaquin Plaza: In partnership with the Exploratorium, a new interactive and playful art piece will be designed and installed in the heart of San Leandro’s downtown Joaquin Plaza.
The three projects were selected based upon their alignment with the criteria identified by the state grant program as having the greatest likelihood of receiving funding, including proximity to urbanized areas and affordable housing development.
The $1,376,600 grant was awarded by the State Department of Housing and Community Development through its Housing-Related Parks Program. The Parks Program is an innovative incentive program that rewards local governments that approve the development of affordable housing for lower-income households with grant funds to create or renovate community parks and recreation facilities. “This new funding would not have been possible without the ongoing commitment San Leandro has made to increase our local stock of affordable housing,” explained Steve Hernandez, the City’s Housing Specialist.
The City is eager to commence work on these projects and is currently in the process of finalizing the required agreements and obtaining state approval to proceed. Work on the projects will commence in 2016.
For more information about San Leandro’s park program grant funds, please contact Steve Hernandez at (510) 577-6005 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.