Visalia's Growing Number of New Parks

March 24, 2008 8:42:46 PM PDT
From new Baseball Fields to a Japanese Garden, the City of Visalia is building more parks to meet the needs of its growing population.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Visalia has grown by about 20-thousand people over the last seven years.

Overgrown, empty or out of date these areas in Visalia will soon be getting makeovers. The city is planning to renovate the irrigation system at Village Park, add a playground to Mill Creek Park and turn this one-acre, overgrown lot into a cultural area.

Vince Elizondo, Visalia Parks: "We're sister city to Miki City in Japan and so this will be tribute to our sister."

The city is also about to break ground on Phase 2 of the new Riverway Sports Park. Workers will turn this vacant area with dry dirt into a green playing field for families.

The new area will include four new baseball fields with lights for night games. Vince Elizondo says over the last five years Visalia has experienced unprecedented growth. The city's population is approaching 120-thousand people. With more people, he says the city needs to build more parks, and update existing ones.

Vince Elizondo: "I think having these little oasis' in the middle of the community is very important. It gives people a place to get away and relax and enjoy time with their families without driving 10 or 15 minutes outside town."

Michelle Gomez: "I know the population's grown I'm part of that! I moved here three years ago and I never saw the amount of cars or buildings, I've seen Mooney grow like crazy."

Jose Espinoza and his sister-in law Michelle say the new sports park has been a big attraction for their family and neighbors.

Jose Espinoza: "We go for walks out there we were just there a couple weeks ago."

Their only complaint?

Michelle: "I just wish they kept the lights on longer at night."

Construction of the new parks, including phase two of the sports park, will start by the end of the summer.


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