Western Gateway Recreation & Park District in rural Nevada County will receive $1,144,634 through the California State Parks’ Rural Recreation and Tourism Program for new recreation opportunities that support economic, tourism, and health-related goals. Awards were granted to 12 eligible recipients in the state through a competitive grant process which allocated $23.1 million of Prop 68 funds.
In February 2022, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors adopted Recreation as its newest objective to promote sustainable recreation with community providers and other jurisdictions that enhance recreational access, support public health and safety, and preserve natural resources assets and fosters economic growth. The Board of Supervisors also retained Economic Development as a priority from 2020.
Board of Supervisors Chair Sue Hoek adds, “Funds from California State Parks will make a huge difference in supporting the community’s vision. It will benefit our local economy by attracting visitors who will spend money at local businesses, and provide more recreation opportunities for locals who live, work and play here. This project will establish and help recognize Western Gateway Regional Park as one of the premier recreation and sports destinations in Nevada County and beyond.”
Elements of the project, including the RV area, were identified through the 2009 Western Gateway Regional Park Master Plan and community feedback during the 2019-2020 Penn Valley Area Plan update. These plans provided use and policy recommendations to create connections to new and existing facilities for developing an integrated and connected recreational system. Western Gateway’s Board of Directors focused grant writing for these Prop 68 monies on campgrounds and camping. Outreach meetings through the Area Plan update invited public input on the Western Gateway Regional Park’s existing facilities and potential new development.
Technical and grant writing assistance was made available through the County Supervisors to help bring recreational project funding to the county. For Western Gateway’s project, grant writing services were provided by Doug Fleming, MD&M Consulting, in partnership with the Recreation Committee of Western Gateway’s Board of Directors.
“Currently, we host community events like the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Penn Valley Rodeo Parade staging, Music in the Mountains and Praise in the Mountains concerts, Art in the Park, and many family celebrations. We look forward to upgrading our ballfields and adding recreational vehicle camping,” said Nancy Peirce, Committee Member and Vice Chairman of Western Gateway Recreation & Park District Board of Directors. “Completion of the both the fields and RV area will allow the park to host softball and Little League tournaments and will be the only park in Nevada County with these features. Additionally, the RV area will be utilized by area locals to evacuate during wildfires and for local family visitors for weddings and memorials. It will also provide the Park District a much needed new income stream to help fund future projects and bolster our current budgetary requirements.”
The grant project will develop a new limited stay Recreational Vehicle (RV) Camping Area and renovate adjacent ballfields at Western Gateway Regional Park. New development will include ten RV sites with pedestal BBQs and picnic tables along with landscaping and parking for one tow vehicle. Project improvements will also include new ballfield turf, upgraded safety netting, additional viewing stands, parking and staging areas dressed with roadway gravel. Project plans feature sustainable environmental design elements like green infrastructure, recycled materials, and landscaping with locally grown drought-tolerant native plants. Locally produced interpretive signage along nature trails and park pathways will educate visitors about local species, habitat, and the area’s rich cultural history.
For project updates and to stay informed, subscribe to the monthly meeting agenda of the WGR&PD Board of Directors by emailing email@example.com or visit www.NevadaCountyCA.gov/Recreation and subscribe to monthly Recreation News.