The Farm Park- located northwest of the intersection of Soquel Drive and Cunnison Lane and east of Tee Street in Soquel, CA.Following many community meetings and a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors, a Master Development Permit was approved by the Planning Commission in March of 2011 at a public hearing. This Master Development Permit allows the Parks Department to construct future park improvements in phases and to develop interim uses, as funding becomes available. The Master Development permit approved the development of a community center, a skate feature, a ½ basket ball court, community gardens, play areas, a bocce ball court, a pedestrian bridge and other park features.
Following the Planning Commission’s approval, the construction of the complete Master Plan was defunded and delayed by the loss of the Redevelopment Agency in August of 2011. Shortly before the Redevelopment Agency was closed down staff submitted grant applications and fortunately the County was the recipient of nearly a million dollars from the State’s Proposition 84 Urban Greening Grant program. These funds were used to construct Phase 1 of the Farm Park.
Farm Park Phase 1- The Farm Community Garden and Stream Habitat Restoration project was completed and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in October 2015 (see photo above). Phase 1 provides over 1.5 acres of stream and oak woodland habitat restoration, thirteen community garden plots, including three accessible plots, on-site green waste recycling, interpretive features and signage, a rain water harvesting system, a kiosk, a small garden shed, fencing around the garden and at the edge of the riparian corridor, picnic tables, disc golf target baskets and public art that is inspired by the natural environment. The project incorporates Best Management and Low Impact Development practices and native drought tolerant plants.
Farm Park Phase 2- On April 26th, 2016, Supervisor Leopold’s office and the Parks Department held a community meeting to: (1) share a draft conceptual plan to place a pedestrian bridge and to construct a bocce ball court and an ADA accessible pathway, and, (2) request the community’s assistance in identifying priorities for future phases and/or interim uses.
At the community meeting, interest was expressed in adding a playground on the Tee Street side and to expand the length of the proposed ADA pathway to completely join the Tee Street and Cunnison Lane sides of the park. The bridge and pathway will connect the two sides of the Park located on either side of the creek and the neighborhoods adjacent to Cunnision Lane and Tee Street.Currently, Parks staff is working with the design team to develop an expanded scope of work to complete a conceptual plan that includes all these park features. Once a revised draft conceptual plan is completed it will be shared with the community sometime this fall.
Seacliff Village Park (formerly called McGregor Park), is a small neighborhood park sited on 1.25 acres and is located at the corner of Sea Ridge Road and McGregor Drive in Aptos.
Background - Conception of the park started over a decade ago when Seacliff residents organized a grassroots campaign to prevent the property from becoming a strip-mall. Based on these efforts and in conjunction with the development of the adjacent “Canterbury” affordable housing complex, the County formally acquired and dedicated the parcel as park land in November 2007. Following this purchase and dedication, the community based park planning processes began in spring of 2008 with a series of three public visioning meetings. These meetings culminated with the Board of Supervisors approving the Conceptual Master Plan in December of 2008. The Master Park Development Permit was approved at a public hearing before the Planning Commission in October of 2014. This Master Permit allows for the park to be completed in phases as funding becomes available.
The Master Development Permit includes, a public art component, accessible play area and parking spaces, picnic areas with shade structures, a permanent or temporary restroom, walkways within and around the perimeter of the park, bike racks, native plantings, a drought tolerant turf and/or meadow areas, a skate feature, an amphitheater, fencing, a drinking fountain, drainage and sanitation improvements, benches and associated park improvement features. Best Management and Low Impact Development practices (BMP’s & LID’s) such as permeable concrete and decomposed granite walkways, native drought tolerant plantings, bioswales and other drainage features are incorporated into the Master Park Development Permit plans.
Phase 1 - The community enjoyed a ground breaking ceremony for Phase 1 on August 3rd, 2015 and the park was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 10th, 2015. The recently completed Phase 1 includes an accessible play area and parking spaces, picnic tables adjacent to the play area, a temporary restroom, walkways within and around the perimeter of the park, bike racks, native plantings, a meadow area, fencing, a drinking fountain, drainage and sanitation improvements, bioswales, benches and associated park improvement features. A public art project, created by local artist Kathleen Crocetti, was also included in Phase 1. The 38 stained-concrete pylons are topped with mosaics which feature local flora and fauna, as well as images iconic to the Seacliff area (e.g. the cement ship); community members of all ages did the mosaic work and assisted with installation.
The park improvements include BMP’s and LID’s, such as permeable concrete and decomposed granite walkways, so that water maybe filtered and soak into the ground to assist with the much-needed ground-water recharge. Seacliff Village Park, with the completion of Phase 1, has already become a community hub, providing a much-needed gathering place for individuals and families to recreate. Links to various plans for the park can be found just below.
Future Phases or Interim Uses - Future phases may include the remaining components of the master plan or other interim uses, as funding becomes available. Future phases may include in any order: a skate feature, an amphitheater, fencing around the play area, additional picnic tables, shades structures for the picnic area and more walkways and interpretive signage.
Next Phase - Currently, the Friends of Santa Cruz and Parks staffs are working to develop interpretive signage concerning the native drought tolerant plans and the other BMP’s and LID’s with a grant from the Soquel Creek Water District. These signs will be installed in the summer or fall of 2016.
Polo Grounds Park is a neighborhood, community and regional park located at 2255 Huntington Drive in Aptos.
POLO GROUNDS RESTROOM/CONCESSION BUILDING
Background - After adoption of the park master plan and environmental impact report, the first phase of park improvements were built at Polo Grounds in the late 1990s, including two soccer fields, three baseball fields and parking. Since then, additional features have been added to the park including a dog park, a bike pump track, a perimeter walking path, and groundwater recharge basins. The park has never had a permanent restroom or concession stand, though it has always been in the master plan.
The Restroom/Concession Building- The Parks Department is building the permanent restroom and concession building, as well as a small maintenance storage building. The new restroom will have men’s and women’s rooms plus a separate family restroom. The concession stand will be available for sale of pre-packaged foods and beverages. The building will be accessible by a new concrete walkway and will have a small patio in front of the concession window.
The project will be complete in the fall of 2016.
Chanticleer Avenue Park is a 4.5-acre neighborhood park in the Live Oak community.
Background - The County acquired the two parcels that now comprise the neighborhood park in 1998 and 2004. The County Redevelopment Agency completed a master planning process, environmental review and master development permit for the construction of the park in 2011. With the State defunding of all redevelopment agencies in 2012, the County was left without funding to build the improvements in the master plan.
Led by the Chanticleer Park Neighbors Association, the County and the community have built interim park features which are currently used by the community. These features include a bike pump track, off-leash dog area, community garden, temporary parking area, and public art.
Phase I Park Improvements - In 2014, the Santa Cruz Playground Project formed and began getting support to build the first inclusive playground in Santa Cruz County at Chanticleer Avenue Park. In 2015, the County Board of Supervisors voted to support a public-private partnership between the County, Shane’s Inspiration, the Santa Cruz Playground Project, and the Chanticleer Park Neighbors Association to design, fundraise, and build LEO’s Haven at Chanticleer Park as part of a Phase 1 development of the Chanticleer Park master plan. The Phase I improvements will also include parking, a restroom, pathways, and improvements to the existing community garden, bike pump track, and off-leash dog areas.
The County and the Santa Cruz Playground Project are currently raising the necessary funds for the development of Phase I at Chanticleer Avenue Park.
Future Phases - The park master plan includes a tennis court, bocce courts, picnic areas, walking paths, on-street parking, improved perimeter fencing and landscaping, and renovation of the historic Miller House for use as office space. These improvements will be developed in future phases of park development.