Numerous Parks Improvement Projects Getting Underway Throughout Santa Fe
The Parks Division is currently embarking on numerous projects to improve the infrastructure and beautify parks all around Santa Fe.
“We are excited to make these immediate upgrades to our parks,” says Parks and Open Space Department Director Melissa McDonald. “We’re starting with Herb Martinez Park tennis courts and working our way through all the city courts. We also are set to install new sod at the Plaza, where the drought has damaged the grass. There are some great changes happening at the Municipal Recreation Complex as well, with new lighting, irrigation and drainage work. While this work is being done, we continue to listen to our constituents’ ideas and desires for the parks.”
Current Parks Division projects include:
Tennis courts: Some parks need new courts to be built due to structural issues related to soils below the existing courts. These include Herb Martinez, Larragoite, and Atalya Parks. Additionally, the courts at Ron Shirley Alto Park and Salvador Perez Park will be resurfaced. This tennis court work will be done sequentially to allow for continued play during the construction time and all the work is expected to be complete by fall.
Municipal Recreation Complex (MRC): Bathrooms will be improved at the golf course, Soccer Valley, rugby fields, and Baseball Complex. New work will include roof repairs, new fixtures, plumbing repairs, wall repairs and new paint, flooring repairs, and solar heating systems to keep unheated structures above freezing through the winter. The work begins in April and is expected to be complete by the end of June.
New lighting work is now being installed at Soccer Valley’s first two fields. This will allow for extended play into evenings. Concurrently, new work on the irrigation, grading, and drainage and new paths within the park is getting underway.
A new sculpture/art park with permanent and temporary installations is being coordinated by the Arts and Culture Department.
Santa Fe Plaza: New turf sod is being installed at the Plaza to replace drought-damaged and compacted turf grass. This work is to start in April and will be completed prior to the Arbor Day Celebration at the Plaza, which is scheduled for April 29.
Medians: As part of the Parks Division’s continued emphasis on weed control on medians, we are purchasing new commercial-grade mowers that will allow us to cover more area and reduce labor costs. This is part of an innovative strategy to remove elms throughout the winter months into early spring and utilize the mowers through the growing season. In our upcoming budget request, we will be asking for new state-of-the art equipment that will use hot water/steam to help control weeds. This new technology supports the City’s desire to avoid using chemical treatments. The FY23 budget will include $1.3 million from the state legislature for median design.
Park Gates: Some of our parks are getting new gates to help keep out vehicular traffic and loitering during off hours. We are also looking into the possibility of using automated gates with new technologies to allow for reducing the labor now needed to open and close parks.
Ragle Park: Due to deterioration, the existing playground slide has been removed and a new structure is on schedule to be installed. The new play area will have new safety surfacing with features for climbing. Installation is set for May 23 and completion is expected by the middle of June.
SWAN Park: The 18-hole Disc Golf course is nearly completed and will be open for play soon. This is part of a larger network of amenities within the park.
A Keith Haring Fitness court is currently open and some additional landscape work surrounding it is being completed now. Look for the ribbon-cutting ceremony in June.
Phase 2 design and community input opportunities are currently being scheduled. This work will help direct the amenities desired by the public in Phase 2 construction at a future date. The community meeting is tentatively set for April 26 at 5:30, as a virtual meeting.
Alvarado Park: A pollinator garden is planned at Alvarado Park. This takes into account the needs of the insects and animals that help pollinate plant life here in Santa Fe. This is a coordinated effort with Parks and Keep Santa Fe Beautiful and volunteers. The start date for tree planting is May 6 and installation of a bee sculpture is in mid-May, with a ribbon-cutting scheduled for August 26.
Railyard Park: We are looking forward to future funding for the Railyard Park benches and playground equipment and have budget requests for irrigation repairs in the next fiscal year.