Ribbon-cutting celebration planned for Davis Park enhancements

Photos by Mike Kinney

San Pablo’s vastly improved Davis Park deserves a community-wide celebration — and that’s what has been scheduled for this coming Saturday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for recent park enhancements that were inspired by local parents.

The celebration will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park at 1661 Folsom Ave., with the ribbon-cutting set for 11:30 a.m. Along with the ribbon-cutting the event will feature face-painting, arts and crafts, a bike rodeo, performances and free lunch for the first 150 participants.

Long plagued by crime, graffiti and unsafe conditions, Davis Park became the target for improvements by parents and community advocates. The First 5 Contra Costa West County Regional Group, a group of volunteer parents and resident leaders who live in Richmond and San Pablo, evaluated every park in San Pablo and found Davis Park to be among the lowest rated for safety issues, with old bathrooms and few amenities like picnic tables or functional water fountains.

In 2015, parents presented their findings and recommendations to the San Pablo City Council, which allocated $550,000 from the city budget for improvements at Davis Park.

Since then, the park has received new police surveillance cameras, water fountains, lighting, picnic tables, BBQ grills, waste and recycling receptacles, and new tot-friendly bathrooms.

In addition, the parents have sponsored park clean-ups and community meetings with police. Last year, activities included the first summer Movie in the Park series, along with the annual Easter Egg hunt.

Also, First 5 Contra Costa plans to sponsor free sports classes and other children’s activities to increase park use and children’s access to physical activity programs, according to a statement by the organization. 

According to First 5 Contra Costa, the organization and its three parent advocacy groups  have partnered with city officials to refurbish eight neglected parks in low-income communities in the county. Learn more by clicking here: www.first5coco.org