A press release by the City of Hanford
In preparation for a grant application to the State of California, earlier this year the City of Hanford asked residents to “Design Your Dream Park.”
With today’s announcement that the City of Hanford has been awarded an $8.5 million dollar grant from the State’s Office of Grants and Local Services, that dream will now become reality.
“Thanks to the vision of our Hanford residents, the support of our community and the State of California’s Proposition 68 Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program, our City’s regional park dreams are coming true,” shared Mayor Francisco Ramirez. “We embarked on this competitive grant process knowing we were applying in addition to well deserving communities throughout the state. It’s an honor to be chosen and we look forward to starting the planning and development process of Heroes Park.”
Inspired in name from the many community members who stepped forward to assist those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, Heroes Park’s journey from concept to grant award winner began in early 2021, as community meetings and workshops were held throughout the City.
Local outreach included a State record setting number of meetings and workshops that included focus groups with seniors, local youth and adult sports organizations and the general public. At these in-person meetings, virtual opportunities, and site visits, attendees were asked what they wanted to see in a future regional park.
Input was ranked with the top requests including athletic courts, jogging/walking paths, athletic fields, playgrounds, an amphitheater, a dog park, and community gardens.
While Heroes Park does not have a physical street address yet, the Park will be located near Florinda Street and 9 ¼ Avenue in Hanford. The site is currently an organic almond orchard that will be re-envisioned thanks to the feedback received from residents.
“From special sessions with local high school students using Google Draw to a community workshop directly across the street from the proposed park site, we sought to engage residents in each step of the process and really capture their vision,” provided City Manager Mario Cifuentez. “Today’s announcement is a celebration for us all and recognition of this true community effort.”
The proposed Heroes Park site is 40 acres in size and is approximately 1/4 mile square. The finalized concept includes a centralized hub, featuring a destination playground, which served as the focal point and wayfinding element of the dream park planning exercises. A treelined jogging/walking path was designed around the perimeter of the property. Large open spaces and an amphitheater will provide space for flexible programing, special event, and entertainment options.
“Every piece of feedback we received was provided to the landscape architect we worked with to create the conceptual plan for Heroes Park. The firm used that data as the basis for their design that was submitted as part of our grant application,” added Brad Albert, Parks and Community Services Director. “I think our community outreach was a strength of the application. I feel we listened to the community and created the conceptual design of the park based on their input.”
As part of the Park design, the location will include bioswales or grading to capture storm water for infiltration or irrigation, and the use of a water efficient irrigation system. Landscaping will exclude the use of invasive plants and instead features drought tolerant or climate appropriate non-invasive native turf, trees, shrubs, plants, and ground cover.
The City of Hanford will receive a total of $8.5 million to build Heroes Park and will supplement the grant award with $2,231,308 for a total estimated cost of $10,731,308.
“It’s a historic day for our City,” noted Mayor Ramirez. “Heroes Park will generate substantial economic benefits to the City’s residents by providing free recreational activities, improve health, increase property values, and attract visitors. The Park will support local jobs, boost spending at local businesses, and create local tax revenue all while bringing smiles to the faces of community members of all ages for years to come.”
For more information and questions, contact Brad Albert, City of Hanford Parks and Community Services Director at [email protected] or (559) 585-2527.