By Kathy Chouteau
More than 50 Richmond residents gathered online last Saturday for a virtual design party where they finalized the designs for Boorman Park’s upcoming renovation, which will encompass a fitness zone, two playgrounds, family restrooms and a community gathering and education space.
First 5 and the West County Regional Group hosted the Boorman Park Design Party, receiving significant support from the City of Richmond, Vallier Designs and Healthy & Active Before 5 to facilitate the parent-led, multigenerational discussion.
“Children and parents alike gave input via Zoom,” said Rhea Elina Laughlin, community engagement & advocacy program officer with First 5 Contra Costa, adding that “residents overwhelmingly agreed on the preferred designs, indicating the new park will truly reflect the wishes of those who use it most.”
According to Elina, the new Boorman Park will feature two universal design playgrounds with innovative swings, climbing structures and interactive play for children of all abilities; a family friendly restroom; a fitness zone with equipment for all abilities; and a community gathering with a stage, game tables and a picnic area.
The park will also include components residents previously selected during earlier meetings, such as a skate spot, basketball courts, soccer field and a multi-use path around the park, per Laughlin.
“We are grateful for our collaboration and especially to the Richmond families that set aside three hours on a Saturday to join the event. The great turnout is a testament to the importance of quality parks to Richmond families and to their dedication to creating healthy and safe public spaces,” said Laughlin.
Boorman Park renovations are funded by a $4.16 million grant from the Parks, Recreation and Water Bond Act (Prop 68) awarded to the City of Richmond. Funding was secured in part by parent advocates in the First 5-sponsored West County Regional Group and City of Richmond leadership, according to First 5 Contra Costa.
The park renovations are set to be completed by 2022, at which time a celebration is planned.
Mike Kinney contributed to this report