Santa Clara’s newest neighborhood park—the 1.91-acre Central Park Annex at 2902 Miles Dr.—was dedicated under cloudy skies (but no rain) on March 22.
The narrow park is directly across Kiely Blvd. from Central Park, near Homestead Rd., with parking at the Central Park Pavilion parking lot. Neighborhood access on Miles Drive is open during regular park hours. Eventually, the park will connect with Central Park via an under-road tunnel and with an off-street Creek Trail extension to Homeridge Park.
“Providing neighborhood parks within an accessible, safe, 10-minute walk of every resident is our goal,” said Director of Parks and Recreation James Teixeira. “Parks are the community’s back yard and active recreational amenities such as playgrounds are important for the social, emotional, and physical development and health of our residents.”
The atmosphere was festive as the Parks and Recreation Department handed out free pedometers and cupcakes to people gathering for the 3:30 p.m. ceremony and red ribbon cutting. Moms with youngsters and babies in carriages stopped by to see what was happening. Kids played on the red and blue playground equipment.
A Santa Clara fire truck parked alongside the grassy park meadow. City firefighters, police officers and Parks and Recreation workers gathered round. Everyone was relieved that the rain had abated, although seating and walkways were covered, just in case.
Teixeira introduced dignitaries attending the dedication. Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Assistant City Manager Manuel Pineda made opening remarks.
A Certificate of Recognition was presented to the City of Santa Clara by California State Assemblymember Kansen Chu and a representative of Senator Robert A. Wieckowski. Chu noted approvingly the low-maintenance, drought-resistant plants used in landscaping throughout the park.
Then all the dignitaries, along with children from Central Park School nearby, posed for the ribbon cutting.
“The sustainable benefits of parks are equally beneficial, such as providing natural habitat and recharge of our underground water. In any case, the important thing is to get outdoors and enjoy what parks have to offer,” said Teixeira, pointing out that a park between one and 15 acres is classified as a neighborhood park.
Central Park Annex is next to Hearth Apartments, built on the grounds of the former Kaiser Permanente Hospital. The park took about a year to construct and was funded by an agreement with the housing developer Prometheus, which was responsible for the cost of park design, engineering, permits and construction. The City funded a portion of the restroom, which cost $295,000 in total.
“We’re thrilled to death about the park,” said Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Rosanne Alderete LaCoursiere. “And we’re really thrilled because we pushed to get a bathroom in the park. It was important to us and the city. It’s really a big deal!”