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First Measure P Park Planned Near Fresno High School
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 years ago on
May 10, 2022

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Residents near Fresno High School will have a new pocket park to enjoy next spring.

“I had a vision for what this neighborhood could be, and I’m seeing that vision come to fruition because of the investment of private small businesses that have come in, but also the neighborhood and the love that they’ve poured into it,” Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria said Tuesday.

Watch: New Fresno High Area Pocket Park

The park will pack a lot into a small area, three-quarters of an acre — a playground, exercise zones, dedicated water bowls for dogs, an amphitheater, and a bocce ball court.

City officials say it will be the first new park paid for by Measure P — the voter-approved sales tax for parks.

The $3.3 million project at the corner of Van Ness Boulevard and Weldon Avenue will require the city to close a turn lane. The right-hand turn from west Weldon to north Van Ness will be incorporated into the park. The city council will take votes this week and in June to convert the road and buy the property it does not already own.

Construction will start this summer with anticipated completion by spring 2023.

 

A rendering of what the new park at Van Ness Boulevard and Weldon Avenue could look like. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Residents Previously Created a Makeshift Park

The neighborhood uses the triangle median as “de facto green space,” Soria said. Across the street from such foody favorites as Quesadilla Gorilla and Ampersand Ice Cream, neighbors erected makeshift park benches.

Jane Najera and her daughter Athena say they are excited about the new park.

“I can’t tell you how often she’s always asking to go to the park,” Najera said. “We’re always having evening walks. I have a dog, so I’m sure he would also be very excited to have and also interact with other dogs in the neighborhood.”

Meg Clark, operations specialist at Quesadilla Gorilla, envisions customers using the park to eat.

“COVID regulations have gotten eased a bit, but I think a lot of people still feel most comfortable eating outdoors. And of course, while we do have our parklet, that park would just be another area for people to kind of safely gather,” Clark said.

Neighbors erected makeshift benches at a median near Fresno High School. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Park Name Undecided

The name of the park is yet to be decided. When asked whether the park could be named for Fresno native and baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, Soria said she would take that “under advisement.”

Seaver played prep ball at Fresno High School — catty-corner to the proposed park. The city named the part of Echo Avenue in front of the school for Seaver in 2016. He died in 2020.

Tom Seaver Lane in front of Fresno High School is catty-corner to the proposed new park. (GV Wire/David Taub)

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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