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Assembly member Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, announced more than $44 million in Proposition 68 parks funding for projects in his 56th Assembly District on Wednesday, Dec. 8. | COURTESY PHOTO

Asm. Garcia Announces $44.2M for Local Parks

Prop. 68 Park Bond Measure Delivers on Park Equity Promise

Assembly member Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) announced more than $44 million for parks throughout the 56th Assembly District, including a total of $14.3 million for Heber, El Centro and Calipatria.

The funding allocation for park projects in the Coachella Valley and Imperial County was made possible through Proposition 68, State of California Parks and Water Bond 2018, authored by Garcia (Senate Bill 5, 2017).

The Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program (SPP) released its latest list of successful grants on Wednesday, Dec. 8, including significant awards for Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, El Centro, Indio, Thermal, and Heber. The SPP is the largest park-related grant program in California’s history and possibly U.S. history, according to a press release from Garcia’s office.

Investments for parks and access to safe, outdoor recreational spaces have been a priority for Garcia since he arrived in Sacramento, his press office states. The Assembly member dedicated years soliciting feedback from his district and organizing coalitions of statewide support to create equitable funding opportunities for underserved, park-poor areas, like those in the communities he serves. 

“We are proud to deliver this historic $44.2 million investment for park projects across our district. Increasing access to parks and safe recreational spaces has the power to transform and uplift our communities. We appreciate all our local municipalities for applying and staying persistent with us throughout this process,” Garcia said in a statement. “These dollars will significantly impact and hopefully spark joy for our Imperial County and the Coachella Valley families. Parks are the gifts that keep on giving with benefits ranging from health, public safety, education and so much more. We celebrate this victory but remain focused on what comes next and how we can bring even more resources to our district.”

Garcia is joint author of Proposition 68 and chair of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife.

“Our work with Proposition 68 created the largest California funding opportunity prioritizing parks in our most underserved communities. Our intention was to create an equitable funding source and to ensure that areas like those in our district were invested in,” Garcia states. “After years of laying the legislative groundwork and collaborating with regional leaders, we are beyond humbled to deliver on our park equity promise to our constituents.”

The 56th Assembly District proved quite competitive in the SPP Round 4 grant. Statewide, 468 project applications were submitted requesting $2.42 billion for the available $548.3 million. Last year, the 56th Assembly District received $15 million from the program for Mecca, Calexico, and Heber.

Assembly District 56 SPP Grant Award Summary

Calipatria — Calipatria Community Center Park, $7 million

Create the new Community Center Park in the city of Calipatria. Construct a new community center, community garden, splash pad, picnic areas with gazebos, a playground/tot lot, and a parking lot with lighting, with landscaping and fencing throughout the park.

El Centro — Gomez Park Improvement Project, $5.7 million

Improve Gomez Park in the city of El Centro. Construct three inclusive playgrounds (ages 2-5 play area, ages 5-12 play area, and zip track), a multi-sport field, two multi-sport courts, a fitness area, a walking path with exercise stations, an amphitheater, a picnic ramada, a restroom facility with concession stand, and a parking lot and access road, with new landscaping and lighting throughout the park. Renovate the existing parking lot.

Heber Public Utility District — Correll Park, $1,579,566

Create the new Correll Park in Heber. Construct a playground with shade, three basketball courts, a walkway with lighting, and a bio retention basin, with landscaping and fencing throughout the park. Renovate the existing retention basin.

Cathedral City — Dream Homes Park, $8.5 million

Create the new 7.52-acre Dream Homes Park in Cathedral City. Construct two new playgrounds with shade, soccer/multi-use field, soccer field, futsal field with lighting, two basketball courts with lighting, fitness station with shade, central plaza, dog park with small and large dog areas, five covered picnic/barbecue areas, walking trails, restroom, two parking lots with lighting, perimeter fencing, with lighting and landscaping throughout the park.

Coachella — Central Park, $8,454,600

Create the new Central Park in the city of Coachella. Acquire 4.7 acres. Construct a new playground with shade, splash pad, multi-purpose pavilion with restrooms, walking path, botanical/community garden, multi-purpose court, fitness area with shade, three picnic areas with shade and barbecues, multi-use field, perimeter fence, with lighting and landscaping throughout the park.

Indio — Indio New Sports Park, $8.5 million

Create the new 31-acre Indio Sports Park in the city of Indio. Construct two baseball fields with lighting, four soccer fields with lighting, one football field, seven open play fields with lighting, parking lot with lighting, restroom/concessions building, eight shade structures on sports fields, two shade structures, five picnic areas with shade, public art, walking pathways with lighting, with landscaping and lighting throughout the park.

Desert Recreation District — Thermal Park Project, $4.5 million

Create the new Thermal Park in the town of Thermal. Acquire approximately 5 acres. Construct a new playground, jungle gym, tennis courts, basketball court, baseball field, soccer field, three picnic areas, splash pad, garden, lighting throughout the park, restroom with snack bar, and landscaping throughout the park.

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