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Mayor Keller Announces Major Upgrades for Wilson, Barelas Parks

City bringing overdue upgrades to revitalize parks in underserved neighborhoods.

August 30, 2019

Mayor Tim Keller stood alongside community members and City officials today to announce a more than $1 million investment in upgrades to two parks in underserved neighborhoods. Wilson Park in the International District and Barelas Park in Barelas will see significant improvements. Funding for the two projects comes from the federal Community Development Block Grant program, which helps state and local governments address economic development needs in underserved communities.

“Parks have the potential to bring neighbors together, make our streets safer, and keep our kids engaged in the community. These projects bring new life to longstanding community spaces at Wilson and Barelas Park,” stated Mayor Tim Keller. “This is something the neighborhoods have been looking for, for a while now, so we’re excited to engage the community on the designs and get these projects off the ground.”

“Building strong communities relies on having public spaces where families can spend time together, but Barelas and the International District face more barriers than other communities in our district,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.“The City did a great job securing these block grants so that Barelas and the International District will have investment dollars to build pride and give families more community spaces to thrive in.”

Upgrades at Wilson Park include lighting, a splash pool and shade structures, a brand new playground, walking paths, resurfaced tennis courts, landscaping, and irrigation system improvements. The Family and Community Services Department through its federal CDBG funds will allocate $976,415 for the project.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working to improve Wilson Park over the past few years, this next phase will make Wilson Park one of the best parks in the city,” said City Councilor Pat Davis. “I’m proud of the hard work of our Parks Department and was happy to contribute to the planning efforts that led to this grant.”

Utilizing another $80,760 in CDBG funds, the Parks and Recreation Department will also complete the planning and design process for revitalizing Barelas Park. These funds will pay for the architectural and engineering design for the future renovation of two acres of park area scheduled for 2021. The Barelas project could include lighting, playground renovation, new recreation facilities, a community plaza, relocated and improved parking, new grass, shade structures, landscaping, and irrigation improvements.

“I’m pleased to see us making good use of the CDBG funds to improve the very well-used Barelas Park.” said City Councilor Isaac Benton. “It’s a jewel and a well-loved park between the Barelas Community and Senior Centers, with grass for “futbol” and some of the best-lit, but poorest-surfaced, tennis courts in town. This is truly a center of the community and we look forward to the improvements!”

The Parks and Recreation Department will seek public input from residents in the neighborhoods around both parks to discuss the proposed plans and gather feedback that will be used to finalize the plans for each renovation project.