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Davis, California

Monday, October 25, 2021

Handicap accessibility to be increased in Central Park

On Feb. 15, the City Council Redevelopment Board approved conceptual plans for new updates to Central Park, which would include a new play area and new restroom. The updated master plan will bring these new amenities to the park with the main goal of improving handicap accessibility. The board plans to have construction underway this summer.

“The main reason these updates need to happen is for handicap accessibility,” said Anne Brunette, property management coordinator for the city of Davis.

The play area, which will have a universal design, is specifically going to be made for those people with mental or physical disabilities. As of now, there are only two existing universal play areas in the Sacramento area – one in Sacramento, the other in Roseville. This play area will be the first of its kind in Davis to provide specific equipment that would accommodate special needs.

“Davis has always been a very welcoming and diverse population, and we want to take into consideration all the play needs of our citizens,” said Stephen Souza, Davis city councilmember, in regard to the newly proposed play area.

The new restroom will be located where the current dumpster and storage shed exist. This new structure will be able to accommodate handicapped needs as well.

If funding permits, the updated master plan also proposes a history plaza. This would be a courtyard created out of colored stones, and portray an aerial view of the city and its surrounding agricultural fields.

The master plan also proposes fixing the fountain that is located at the Farmer’s Market, as well as adding new shade structures to the park. According to Brunette, however, these features will not be added to the park until the future, when the necessary funding permits.

“I really enjoy going to Central Park and I think these new updates sound great,” said Cindy Matta, sophomore psychology and Spanish double major. “I think that building a better community for all children, disabled or not, would make Central Park more accessible for everyone’s needs, and a fun place for everyone to hang out at not only on the weekends, but everyday of the week.”

Councilmember Souza said he believes these updates are fantastic and a welcome thing to see.

“These are wonderful improvements that will make the park even more user friendly and allow a greater portion of the community to use the park more than before,” Souza said.

According to Brunette, now that the city has approved conceptual plans, her team is working with a landscape architect.

ANNABEL SANDHU can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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