As was posted here, the Committee’s application for Prop 68 funding was not successful. Since that time our board member, Carol Maxwell, who lead the application process has been in contact with the California State Parks Office. That office was the agency conducting the application process. Carol was informed that our application scored very high. However, with ten times the requested amount that was available decisions had to be made as to which projects would be funded. The reason given that our project was not funded was that it targeted a relatively small segment of the community versus other applications.
Since then, the Committee has submitted a scaled down project to the City of Lakeport for approval. This project would require minimal grading. This proposal would create an arena, manure storage and a port-a-potty restroom. Parking would be on the native soil.
At the last Committee meeting a plan to develop trails on the hills to the west was discussed and will be taken to the City as well.
A group of community members met on January 15, 1997 under the direction of Charlie Jolin to discuss the development of an active recreation park in the City of Lakeport. The Westside Community Park Committee was incorporated and received its nonprofit status on November 1, 1999. The Park is 60 acres of land set aside by the City of Lakeport. The Committee leases portions of the land for development. As phases are completed the City dedicates them as parkland and assumes the administration and maintenance.
The Westside Community Park (WCP) was incorporated with the California Secretary of State in October 1999 and received Internal Revenue Service Classification as a 501 (c) (3) in November 1999. WCP has been successfully operating for 22 years. WCP sometimes uses the name Westside Community Park Committee to differentiate the nonprofit organization from the physical park site.
WCP operates in close association with the City of Lakeport and leases the parkland from the City. The agreement with City is that WCP will develop, operate and maintain designated areas of the park until such time as that section is complete. At completion the City accepts that area into its park system and provides maintenance and operations.
The proposed, Westside Horse Park, will be leased under a separate agreement with the City of Lakeport Municipal Sewer (CLMSD) where WCP will develop, maintain and operate it for 30 years.
The first completed section of the Westside Community Park, known as the Rotary Fields I & II, were turned over to the City many years ago. Approximately ten years ago the Ron Raetz Dog Park was completed and turned over to the City. WCP has agreed to assist by mowing the dog park. For the past several years construction on Phase 2 has been progressing. All facilities and features are located at the main Westside Community Park site at 1401 Charlie Jolin Way (formerly Westside Park Road), Lakeport, CA 95453. The site had been abandon as sewer department sediment pools pre 1980.
ROTARY FIELDS I & II: This area is two plus acres of natural turf sports fields used primarily for youth and adult soccer. Also included are one-half acre of paved parking, a picnic area with two tables, the beginning of the Forbes Creek Trail with two exercise stations and a permanently installed porta-potty.
The Rotary Club purchased the irrigation supplies and the monument sign that identifies the fields. Fundraising purchased the trees and developed the picnic area. Sutter Lakeside Hospital purchased the exercise equipment which was installed by the Kiwanis Club of Lakeport. All of the fundraising, construction management and volunteers were lead and supervised by WCP. There were so many donations of time, materials, equipment and labor in those early days that we do not have a total project cost.
WCP maintained this area for about two years before the City accepted it into the park system. Maintenance at the time consisted only of mowing, fertilizing, monitoring the irrigation system and handling trash. This was all carried out by volunteers for WCP.
RON RAETZ DOG PARK: The dog park is approximately three-fourths of an acre and includes two fenced areas; one for large dogs and one for small dogs, shade trees and a water source. Only minimal grading was required. That was completed by a volunteer in less than a day. Fencing was about $5,000. The City of Lakeport’s Utilities Department made the connection to the municipal water line and installed the lateral and hose bid. The trees were planted by volunteers for Arbor Day. The dog park is not irrigated.
The City assumed responsibility for the dog park in 2008. The dog park requires minimal maintenance. As stated previously WCP’s caretaker mows. The City handles trash, water, dog waste bags and user issues that arise.
PHASE 2: A housing development adjacent to the park begun in 2007. The site plan and construction drawings for Phase 2 were prepared by the housing project developer’s engineers in May 2008 in lieu of the payment of park mitigation fees. Construction on Phase 2 began in spring of 2009. Prior to the beginning of actual construction, WCP had continued to accept dirt to fill the two former sewer ponds that would comprise Phase 2. The National Guard continued to train at the site and filled the ponds prior to 2009.
Phase 2 is composed of several features; the Jane Barnes Field (4 ½ acres of sports turf grass with a baseball and a softball diamond), Early Lake Lions Horseshoe Pits, Lakeport Rotary Bicycle Pump Track, the continuation of the Forbes Creek Trail and one more exercise station. Currently under construction, with completed installation scheduled in November, is the Lakeport Lions Legacy Playground. Fundraising is underway for the construction of the Marla Ruzicka Futsal Pitch. As is indicated by the various named features several organization played major roles in the development of Phase 2.
The Keeling-Barnes Family Foundation donated $115,250 which was used to install the storm drainage and complete the rough grading.
WCP received a grant in the amount of $200,000 from the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council in July 2010. Through donations and discounts on material and equipment as well as volunteer labor, WCP was able to complete $300,000 worth of work with the grant money. That development of the Jane Barnes Field included installation of an irrigation system, potable water system with two drinking fountains, planting of grass, construction of the baseball and softball backstops and fencing and the construction of four dugouts. The Jane Barnes Field was dedicated and opened in July 2013. This project was managed entirely by WCP.
At the board meeting of the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, when the grant was awarded, the executive director noted that one reason the Westside Community Park was receiving this grant was in recognition of all that had been accomplished in the park up to that time with such limited resources. The WCP has a history of community support which has allowed it to leverage the maximum benefit for every dollar received.
WCP added a 12×16 equipment shed in 2015. Materials were purchased through fund raising. Labor was provided by the Kiwanis Club of Lakeport and WCP board members.
In partnership with the Westshore Little League and the Konocti Youth Soccer League (Two of the primary users of the field.) a 12×16 concession stand with water and electricity was constructed in 2018.
An ADA compliant port-a-potty was installed in 2020 by WCP using donated funds.
In 2021, the Westshore Little League constructed two batting cages.
WCP received a $65,000 donation from an estate in 2019. That donation and some fund raised money funded the addition of 600 linear feet for curb, gutter and sidewalk in the parking lot. The parking lot is currently composed of asphalt grinding donated by Granite Construction. Efforts continue to locate funding to pave the parking lot and complete the curb, gutter and sidewalk.
In 2014 the Early Lake Lions Horseshoe Pits were added to the park. The ten pits with tables were completely funded and constructed by the Lions Club.
The Rotary Club of Lakeport Bicycle Pump Track was funded with a $6,000 donation from the club and $1,000 raised by WCP. WCP oversaw the design and managed the construction of the track. It opened in May 2017.
The Lakeport Lions Legacy Playground was opened in June 2022. The Lions Club started this project with a donation of $122,764. WCP has raised $25,000 and added $5,000 from a CD investment. The project came in slightly over the raised at $154,279.00. Additional funds have been offered by the Rotary Club of Lakeport and the Lakeport Lions to complete the landscaping surrounding the play structure.
The Marla Ruzicka Futsal Pitch will cover a half-acre section adjoining the playground. Site grading has been complete. Fundraising is underway. The goal is to have funds available to start work during the next construction season.
All of the park features listed in Phase 2 have been develop by WCP. WCP maintains and operates Phase 2.
An additional 45 acres of adjacent undeveloped land has been dedicated for future development as an extension of the Westside Community Park. Currently WCP leases a five acre portion of that 45 acres from the City of Lakeport. Located on that five acre parcel is a two bedroom home and several outbuildings. WCP provides that home in exchange for caretaker services. The caretaker is responsible for maintenance of Phase 2.
WESTSIDE COMMUNITY HORSE PARK: The City of Lakeport has offered a nine acre portion of the Municipal Sewer District property for development as a Horse Park along with access to 200 acres in the hills to the west for trail development. The Committee has completed access to the property from State Highway 175. Lucchetti Excavating donated the equipment and labor. A substantial discount was received on the asphalt from Granite Construction. WCP contracted for the design work, obtained an encroachment permit from Caltrans, purchased all of the materials and oversaw the entire project. After all of the donations and discounts, the actual cost was $15,000. WCP fundraised that amount.
Unfortunately, the application for Prop 68 grant funding for $3 million was not approved by the California State Department of Parks. The Committee will look at alternatives and seek additional funding to move forward.