The Monument Community of Concord is celebrating two new playgrounds with a parade and ribbon cuttings after the Central County Regional Group we sponsor urged the city council to improve parks in their community.
The effort began in 2013 when the CCRG and partners assessed conditions at parks in the Monument neighborhood of Concord. Two parks, Ellis Lake and Meadow Homes, needed the most improvement, lacked bathrooms, and had more crime and safety issues.
After the parents presented their concerns at several city council meetings, council members agreed to allocate $1.1 million to renovate the two parks.
At Ellis Lake Park, the city expanded the playground by 2,900 square feet, and installed benches, lighting, drinking fountains, a safety barrier near a small lake, and new public restrooms which include a tot-sized toilet and sink rarely found in city parks. Meadow Homes Park received a 4,900-square-foot playground with structures for older and younger children.
The parents group is also tackling crime and safety issues by sponsoring community meetings with police and forming neighborhood watch programs. First 5 Contra Costa and the First 5 Center program adjacent to Ellis Lake Park, will also provide free sports classes and other children’s activities to keep the parks filled with families and deter crime.
The celebration events will take place on October 7th, starting at Meadow Homes Park at 10:00 a.m. After the ribbon-cutting there, families will form a parade to Ellis Lake Park to enjoy face painting, arts and crafts, a bike rodeo, and more.
The new playground projects were funded by the City of Concord in response to the Monument Parks Assessment conducted by the Central County Regional Group, First 5 Contra Costa, Monument Impact, and Contra Costa Health Services.
First 5 Contra Costa and the three parent advocacy groups it sponsors have partnered with city officials to refurbish eight neglected parks in low-income communities throughout the county.
Learn more: www.first5coco.org.
This June, nearly 30 members of the East County Regional Group (ECRG) graduated from a six-month training program on land use policy organized by First 5 Contra Costa, Contra Costa Health Services, Pacific Institute, and Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP). The project was funded by Kaiser Permanente and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The Land Use Planning School was the first of its kind in the region to train community residents on important land use concepts and advocacy skills to promote healthier and safer communities for children and families. The school consisted of six sessions covering land use equity, zoning, pollution, food access, park planning, campaign development, and messaging/strategic communication. Each session included expert guest speakers from the Bay Area as well as skits, games, and other dynamic learning exercises. Continue reading