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Davis

Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

City of Davis opens several new parks for the community

The city opens Campanilla Mini Park, Donato Mini Playground and Sandy Motley Park

 

By ALMA CULVERWELL city@theaggie.org 

 

The city of Davis recently renovated several local parks for a range of ages, including the Campanilla Mini Park, the Donato Mini Playground and the Sandy Motley Park. Both the Sandy Motley Park and Donato Mini Playground are intended for children aged two to five while the Campanilla Mini Park is intended for teens and above.

Campanilla Mini Park is located in Mace Ranch, east of Campanilla Court and north of Arroyo Avenue; the Donato Mini Playground is located in Mace Ranch, west of Costa Verde Street between Donato Lane and Eligio Lane; the Sandy Motley Park is located in Wildhorse at 1919 Moore Blvd.

Dave Knighton, parks manager for the City of Davis, explained the decision behind the renovations. 

“With Campanilla and Donato, the play structures that were out there previously had reached their life cycles, […] they didn’t have a lot to offer in terms of play value,” Knighton said. “Nowadays we design playgrounds with the intent of facilitating certain aspects of development, whether that’s physical, cognitive, problem solving […] and so as we phase out these old playgrounds when we design the new ones, there’s intentionality behind it.”

Knighton also explained the design aspects of the parks, specifically the installation of an adult fitness system at Campanilla Mini Park, as well as the communities’ desire to cater the park to a different demographic after dealing with unwanted activity in the past. 

“We felt that would activate the park in a different way,” Knighton said. “It would encourage adults to come out and use that area, and maybe if the park was activated in a way that it hadn’t previously been, that some of that nefarious activity would inherently go away.” 

The parks have served as an outlet to many and aim to provide further space for children to enjoy. John Cooper, community member and UC Davis alumnus, described how the parks have served his family throughout the years.

 “I absolutely love our neighborhood’s Slide Hill Park,” Cooper said. “My son learned to ride a bike, play baseball and swim there. I worked with a neighborhood committee when play structures were redesigned. I have a daughter in a power wheelchair, so my two cents went towards making sure changes would be as accessible as possible. I could probably write a love song about Slide Hill Park and its many uses. We are super blessed with the number and quality of the parks in our city. Sometimes I will complain if something is broken, but in general they are safe and well maintained.” 

In addition to these recently completed projects, the Mace Ranch Park play structure is awaiting inspection and opening soon, and the La Playa Park play structure’s construction is planned to start soon, according to Barbara Archer, public information officer for the City of Davis.

Knighton described his future hopes for developing more inclusive playgrounds in Davis and hopes to work with playground designers who have inclusivity specialists.

“We want to put something in that can be enjoyed by everybody whether you have a full range of motion with your body or you have aspects that are limited and prevent you from being able to use a traditional playground, but something that still incorporates play value that really allows everybody to use it,” Knighton said.

 

Written by: Alma Culverwell city@theaggie.org

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