MENDOCINO Co., 9/30/22 — Mendocino County will receive $2.2 million from the state to revitalize Bower Park, a 10-acre park in Gualala that has served South Coast residents since 1976.
A 2020 Board of Supervisors Park Needs Assessment determined that Bower Park does not fulfill its potential to Gualala residents. The board found that people use the park for sports games, weddings, barbecues, and to enjoy the natural beauty. But many of the park’s facilities are deteriorating and pose potential safety issues, the board found.
“Bower Park offers the community an attractive park setting with a number of amenities suitable for various ages, abilities and interests,” the needs assessment read. “At the same time, the park has many dying trees, poor maintenance, many facilities are in disrepair, hardscape throughout the park is cracking, and there are a number of potential safety issues.”
The state funding will prioritize safety issues, according to a press release from the county. The first phase of improvements will include hazardous tree removal, fire and fuel mitigation, ADA improvements, and the installation of electricity throughout the park. The county will seek public input for other improvements to Bower Park that weren’t mentioned in the needs assessment in a second phase of park improvements, according to the press release.
State Assemblymember Jim Wood worked with Mendocino County to request the state budget allocation. The county sought state funding because it did not have enough general fund money to pay for repairs.
“Bower Park is a critical facility for our South Coast,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Ted Williams, whose district includes Gualala, in a statement. “Without this timely allocation, it was unclear how we’d find the resources to address the long-overdue maintenance. Our state partners came through for us in a big way.”