Lourdes Maya is a Westfield Elementary School parent. Through an interpreter she says the families in the neighborhood are happy to see their hope for a park become a reality.
Maya and other parents brought the idea for a park to the attention of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance which in turn began seeking grants. The school donated the land, the City of West Sacramento donated $100,000 and Kaiser Permanente donated $150,000.
Katie Villegas with the Yolo County Children’s Alliance says the neighborhood is the poorest in the area and the need for social improvements was evident.
“The day we brought Kaiser out to see if they wanted to fund the project, the field behind this was literally on fire, smoldering," she says. "There were a lot of homeless out here, a lot of needles and syringes and all kinds of stuff –not a very safe place for kids walking to school.”
The site of the park was previously two dilapidated softball fields on the grounds of Westfield Village Elementary School. The Northern California Construction Training program demolished the old backstops and built the play structure.
Kaiser says the idea fit perfectly with the hospital group’s Healthy Eating Active Living program.
“Obviously getting people out and being active and you tie that activity with healthy eating…it really gets to what we’re trying to do through our HEAL program is reduction of obesity,” says Kaiser Dr. Rob Azevedo.
Future plans for the park include curb, sidewalk, and walkway improvements when funding can be found.