County provides update on improvements to Hart Park, other upcoming parks projects

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop provided an update to the Board of Supervisors today regarding park projects. 

Alsop said as part of the Hart Park Improvement Plan that was implemented in 2018, the county is currently in the process of developing a children’s adventure area, rehabilitation of the Adobe House as well as improvements to the trailhead and parking areas. 

Alsop said this year crews will also be redoing the entrances with new signage, lighting and landscaping. 

The upcoming adventure area will be for children between 2 and 12 years old and will include a play area, splash pad, family areas and more. The project is estimated to cost about $3 million, with about half expected to come from a Proposition 68 grant and the other from the county as part of a funding match.

Alsop said the county is still in the process of designing the project. It is uncertain at this time when construction will begin. 

Alsop also detailed some projects that have yet to be completed, including the creation of a children’s beach at Hart Lake, a fishing peninsula, a concessions area and additional infrastructure improvements. 

The county has already finished some improvements at the park, including a restroom rehabilitation, new signage as well as improvements to trailhead and parking entrances. 

“We have gone through a tremendous amount of work setting Hart Park up to get some investment done out there,” Alsop said. “That is a regional park affecting all of the districts and a lot of people that live here, and we’re trying to get things done and we’re focused out there.”

In terms of other parks-related projects, the county has submitted grant applications through the Statewide Park Program for projects at five parks: Heritage, Potomac, Virginia, Lamont and Mojave East parks. The grants total $37.5 million. 

Alsop said the county also plans on submitting grant applications through the state’s Regional Parks Program to make improvements at Lake Ming, Frazier Mountain Park and the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreational Area. Applications are due by Nov. 5.

Expected improvements include walking paths, play structures, improved camping amenities and updated or new restrooms, according to the county.

“We have a lot of need all across the county. All of our parks could use upgrading,” Alsop said. “We’re eating the elephant one bite at a time.”

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