By Nancy Vigran
Reporting for the Sun-Gazette
VISALIA – The park in Goshen now has an official name, Community Park of Goshen. The 11-acre park, located at the corner of Betty Drive and Robinson Road, is the 11th park falling under management of Tulare County Parks and Recreation.
In late May, an outreach meeting was held at Goshen Elementary to discuss park design with the local community. District 4 Supervisor Eddie Valero along with Parks and Recreation staff have held several such meetings wanting input as to potential park usage and design. Attendees had a chance to prioritize their desires and plot them on a map of the park. In attendance was a professional park designer to aid in potential realization of those features.
More than 30 residents of the area attended the most recent meeting including 10 children.
“As children comprise a significant portion of park patronage, their participation and input was crucial to the process,” said Brooke Sisk, assistant director of the County of Tulare General Service Agency. “To be most competitive for the grant funding, five community-based planning meetings are required. We have conducted seven, which included diverse residents and stakeholders of Goshen, and were at different locations and times to allow widespread participation.
The Board of Supervisors has already approved application for the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program Competitive Grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation Office of Grants and Local Services. County staff is working on the application which is due in by August 5. Awards notification should be made by the end of the year.
“Creating recreation opportunities is the primary goal of grant funding,” Sisk said. “All projects must create or renovate at least one recreation feature such as sports fields, and may also include major support amenities such as lighting.”
Through the various community meetings held, the community has identified lighting, shaded playgrounds, revitalization of sports fields, exercise equipment, tables, arbors with barbecue grills, additional trees, and public art as priorities.
The park area was original constructed by the Tulare County Redevelopment Agency as a combination drainage basin and park space.
In further Parks and Recreation news, the County is soliciting proposals for consultation and design services for restoration of the Mooney Grove Park Lily Pond Fountain. The hotly debated future of the pond area drove Supervisors to seek official cost estimates and bids for total restoration.
A pre-proposal conference and site walk be held on June 10. RSVPs are requested. The submission deadline is July 29. For more information interested parties should contact [email protected]