It was a day of celebration as the community of Calexico gathered to receive the long-awaited funding for Heber Park that will bring much-needed recreation for the residents of the west side of Calexico.
For years, Heber Park has seen a state near abandonment ever since the National Guard Armory closed nearly two decades ago. There have been several proposed projects through the years but none have come to fruition.
Calexico Mayor Javier Moreno said that this is an event that they have been waiting for a long time and it’s historic for the city and its residents.
“I’m very pleased about the Heber Park project because it will raise the quality of life for our city. It’s our mission,” Calexico Mayor Javier Moreno said. “All of this is set to accommodate all of the programming and storage needs of the recreation programs.”
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia presented a check to the Calexico City Council putting in motion the process for its construction early next year.
“One of the requirements, when we were working on this grant, was community participation so they could give us information so we could resolve the access to recreation and parks,” Garcia said. “Today we are showing people that live in this part of town that they are not forgotten and that the State of California is working with the leadership of Calexico that we are investing in them, in their children, and in the community.”
Heber Parks sits on 2.35-acre land. It has amenities that include a children’s playground, swings, and restrooms. It is located between Harold Avenue and Roosevelt Street.
The City of Calexico was selected as a recipient of the California Department of Parks and Recreation 2020 Proposition 68 Statewide Park Grant Program. The City of Calexico obtained the maximum amount of $8.5 million to expand Heber Park.
This award will construct a new multi-purpose gym, an outdoor basketball court with lights, a soccer field with lights, a walking trail, an athletic track, picnic areas and seating, and a parking lot, with lighting and landscaping throughout the park.
In 2018, California voters passed the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68), which directed $254.9 million to State Parks for competitive grants to create new parks and enhance recreational opportunities for all Californians.
This is the state’s largest investment in grant funding history targeted at underserved communities. The bond also provides funds for aging infrastructure, amenities, and improvements to parks that will help attract new and diverse visitors.