What's at stake:
The park, expected to open in the summer of 2023, will have a variety of amenities, including a playground for toddlers, a green space and community plaza, a bocce ball court, exercise stations, a picnic area, and 19 new trees.
City and community leaders donned golden shovels Friday to commemorate the first park funded through Measure P, at Van Ness and Weldon avenues in the Fresno High/North Tower District neighborhood.
The park, expected to open in the summer of 2023, will have a variety of amenities, including a playground for toddlers, a green space and community plaza, a bocce ball court, exercise stations, a picnic area, and 19 new trees. Four of the trees currently on site will be preserved. New on-street parking will be added after construction is completed.
“I am thrilled with today’s groundbreaking of a brand-new City of Fresno park in the historic Fresno High neighborhood, which is considered a park desert,” said District 1 City Councilmember, Esmeralda Soria, who represents the neighborhood.
Construction at the park and surrounding streets will impact car access on Weldon Avenue, beginning on Aug. 1.
Measure P, a three-eight cent sales tax funding parks, trails, and arts in the City of Fresno, was approved by 52% of voters in 2018. Legal challenges to the tax’s validity was officially cleared after the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in March 2021.
The total cost of the building the park and adjacent street improvements is $3.322 million, with $1.5 million coming from Measure P, $1 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, and around $800,000 from the city’s general fund.
“This park will be a beautiful addition to an already beautiful neighborhood – and a space that the people who live here can take pride in,” said Mayor Jerry Dyer.
To learn more about how to get involved in Measure P, the next Parks, Recreation and Arts Commission meeting is on Monday, Aug. 1 at 5:30 p.m. at Fresno City Hall, council chambers.
Note: Danielle Bergstrom previously worked on the Measure P campaign in 2018. Joaquin Bergstrom, featured in the photo, is her son.