Riverside County approves Desert Recreation District’s long-range park plan

Riverside County approves Desert Recreation District’s long-range park plan

Taylor Martinez

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved the Desert Recreation District’s long-range park plan, which will guide park and recreation services in the Coachella Valley and funding efforts for future parks in the eastern Coachella Valley.

The park plan was developed after listening to community members. The updated plan serves as the basis for the collection of park fees and land dedications under the Quimby Act.

The Desert Recreation District (DRD), with major county support, built the five-acre North Shore Community Park in 2018. Riverside County and DRD are working in coordination to fund parks in Oasis and Thermal, two communities that currently lack parks. The county is also utilizing a $5.8 million grant from the State of California for the Mecca Regional Sports Park, which will bring further green space and recreation next to the Boys and Girls Club in the community of Mecca.

“It is exciting to see progress in developing parks for residents who have long waited for parks in their communities,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “We have a strong partnership with the Desert Recreation District to provide high quality programs, activities and recreational resources that benefit Coachella Valley residents. I am glad we continue to partner and come up with the funding to get more parks built in the eastern Coachella Valley and throughout all our communities.”

DRD is currently under construction on phase one of the Oasis Community Park, which is expected to open this summer. The district is also planning the Thermal Community Park, on land that Riverside County transferred to the district.

“The Desert Recreation District thanks the Board of Supervisors and county staff for their continued support and partnership to provide the most efficient and effective delivery of services to our residents,” said DRD General Manager Kevin Kalman. “Our pooling of resources and cooperative agreements have ensured not only services remain available to our residents during lean economic times but has created the ability to expand services and address areas that have been traditionally underserved. This plan provides a roadmap to equitable service delivery based on the needs expressed by communities we serve.”

The park plan approved Tuesday is DRD’s first park plan update since 2013. The process for the comprehensive update began in 2018 with stakeholder input, a citizen’s survey and an inventory of parks and recreation assets. Gauging and responding to residents’ needs and assessing current and future conditions through the process of long-range planning allows DRD to continue providing high quality recreational services to all within the valley.

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