On June 12, City Council approved the schematic design for the Homeridge Playground and Park Rehabilitation project.
Run by the Department of Parks & Recreation, Homeridge is a six acre park located at 2985 Stevenson St., nestled in a residential area southwest of Central Park and is bounded on one side by Saratoga Creek. In addition to trees and open space, the park provides a picnic area for up to 50 people, a basketball court, a playground, restrooms and off-street parking. Homeridge is a neighborhood destination known for its abundant shade and clean facilities. The planning process for park upgrades have been in the works since 2016 and a number of meetings have been held since then about the rehabilitation.
“In September 2013, Council adopted a goal to enhance community sports and recreational assets,” commented James Teixeira, Director of Parks & Recreation. “In particular, the City of Santa Clara has prioritized the renovation of parks and replacement of playgrounds to meet accessibility and consumer product safety guidelines. At the same time, the City is increasing playground capacity and play value to maximize the physical, cognitive, social benefits of recreational assets.”
Teixeira went on to explain that the City designs projects to meet grant eligibility requirements. The Kitchell Report, a Facility Condition Assessment conducted in 2017, indicated that the City Park system had over $150 million in needed improvements over the next 20 years.
The Homeridge Park playground and park amenities were constructed in 1962. According to the report, the current Homeridge Park condition index, including the playground, is rated 47, or “critical,” and the building condition index is rated 23, or “poor.”
Last May the City issued a Request for Proposals for the community engagement process and park plans, and community meetings were subsequently held in October and March. Landscape architect Gates & Associates is the lead designer for the project.
It’s one of many similar park upgrades in Santa Clara including Bowers Park Playground, Machado Park Playground, Fuller Street Park Phase II and Agnew Park Playground.
The City recently completed work on the Central Park Annex, Steve Carli Park and Bracher Park.
The heart of the endeavor is improving the main play structures for children aged two to five and six to 12. Some of the elements are a sand play area, rock climbing, swings, a tree swing and a tree house. The playground upgrades are geared toward helping youth develop proper balance, strength, flexibility, spatial awareness, endurance, coordination and fitness.
The layout also fosters a safe environment where kids can run freely and have fun. The two play equipment areas will be surrounded by a concrete tricycle path, additional play surfaces and a planted area.
Additionally, the project involves a wood rail fence, rehabilitation of the group picnic area, an arrival plaza, storm-water treatment area and re-striping of the parking lot, as well as an accessible concrete path and new greenery. The plans also show an outline for a future trail running parallel to Saratoga Creek.
Money for the playground rehabilitation work was identified and allocated in the Capital Improvement Project funds in the amount of $595,000. The additional enhancement items identified in the project plans are estimated to be about $290,000 and will be completed if alternate sources of funding from grants or donations are identified and allocated.