By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
FARMERSVILLE – Outdoor concerts, nature talks, weather experiments, and a new playground could all be part of the next phase of Farmersville’s sports park complex with your help.
On June 11, outreach coordinators for the state of California will be at the Farmersville Sports Park, located at the corner of Freedom Drive and Walnut Avenue, to gather public input on what residents would like to see at the sports park. Already in the works is an amphitheater, a playground, a skatepark, restrooms, concession stand, baseball diamonds, and basketball courts, and shaded parking spots with solar panels on top to provide nighttime lighting. The site visit will begin at 9 a.m.
City Manager Jennifer Gomez said the city applied for $1.9 million in Proposition 68 funding with the California Natural Resources Agency in February. The Parks, Environment, and Water Bond approved by voters last June created $4 billion for state and local parks, environmental protection and restoration projects, water infrastructure projects, and flood protection projects.
“This is a very competitive grant and only the top 10% are given a site visit,” Gomez said. “There’s no guaranteed funding but scheduling a site visit is a good sign.”
Titled the Sequoia Gateway project, the funding would transform a one half acre portion of a master planned park site into a nature-themed area for recreation, education, and community gatherings.
The project is primarily located in a storm water basin that will be used as an amphitheater. A concrete slate at the bottom of the basin will serve as the stage of the amphitheater along with three ledges (giant steps) for the public to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets for event seating. The amphitheater would provide seating for approximately 75 students or adults.
The project could also include a picnic table area that will provide approximately 42 students or 32 adults with table space. The top ridge of the basin will have a permeable paved surface pad ideal for wheelchairs to have a good view of the stage.
Next to the Sequoia Gateway Area would be a nature-themed playground that will consist of durable and safe playground equipment. The playground area will include a shade canopy, outdoor exercise equipment, a walking path around the playground, and benches.
A schoolhouse pavilion is a center focal point of the project and will provide an ideal space for science experiments, small presentations, and a weather station. It will be ideal for small group outdoor learning opportunities. Farmersville Unified School District teachers and students will have access to these resources; the weather station will have a wide variety of digital measurement tools that will measure earth and atmospheric conditions. Students can monitor this data from inside their traditional classrooms, then explore the natural environment and discuss data fluctuations and make predictions while visiting the park.