Park agencies throughout California, including Lodi Parks & Rec, will be competing for their share of $255 million for park acquisition, expansion and renovations in 2019.
The funding stems from Proposition 68, a $4 billion water and park bond passed by California voters in June. Of that amount, $1.3 billion will go to State, regional and local park agencies. In addition to competitive grant programs, Lodi will automatically receive approximately $200,000 – the exact figure is not yet known – sometime in late 2019 for new park projects. The $255 million available to local agencies in 2019 is the first of several phases that will eventually total $650 million. Most is aimed at acquiring new parkland and open space.
Community Input Needed
Parks & Rec will begin a public outreach program in the coming months to gather input and assess community interest in potential projects. Under the Prop 68 guidelines, the grants will be focused on low-income areas that don’t have enough park space to serve the neighborhood. Lodi has four parks that meet both criteria: Blakely Park, Hutchins Street Square, Legion Park and Van Buskirk Park. Half of our other parks – Lodi Lake the notable exception – meeting one of the two qualifications.
We will be eligible to apply for up to $8.5 million per project, which makes this an opportunity Lodi Parks & Rec can’t pass up. We’re kicking around possible projects, such as water slides and new aquatic features at Blakely Park, and an indoor rec/wellness center at another park.
In early 2019, we’ll be asking for your ideas and priorities via community engagement meetings and electronic surveys, so stay tuned!