The planned 4.5-acre park includes the LEO’s Haven playground, restrooms, parking, pathways and improvements to the existing community garden, bike pump track and off- leash dog areas. The County, the Santa Cruz Playground Project and the Chanticleer Park Neighbors Association are leading efforts to raise the $4.7 million needed to build the initial phase of the park.
“This is a significant step forward in realizing the community’s vision for this park,” Santa Cruz County Parks Director Jeff Gaffney said. “Once completed, Chanticleer Park will demonstrate how neighbors can come together for a project that meets a range of community needs. It will be a wonderful addition to our unparalleled parks system.”
“There is an incredible amount of momentum behind this project,” said Patricia Potts, a Watsonville mother and cofounder of the Santa Cruz Playground Project. “The Central Coast community is committed to seeing this project become reality, and this grant moves us even closer to the finish line.”
Less than nine months ago, the County and its partners unveiled the designs for LEO’s Haven at Chanticleer Park, a partnership between the County of Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Playground Project and Shane’s Inspiration, a national nonprofit dedicated to inclusive playgrounds and creating a bias-free world.
To date, more than $2.1 million has been raised for Chanticleer Park, with the Santa Cruz Playground Project already more than halfway to its goal of contributing $1.9 million toward Phase 1 costs. To make a donation, please visit www.santacruzplaygroundproject.org.
The County acquired the two parcels that now comprise the neighborhood park in 1998 and 2004. The County Redevelopment Agency completed a master planning process, environmental review and master development permit for the construction of the park in 2011. With the State defunding of all redevelopment agencies in 2012, the County was left without funding to build the improvements in the master plan.
Led by the Chanticleer Park Neighbors Association, the County and the community have built interim park features that are currently used by the community. These features include a bike pump track, off-leash dog area, community garden, temporary parking area, and public art.
Established by Congress in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund uses earnings from federal offshore oil and gas leases to help strengthen communities, preserve our shared history and protect our national endowment of lands and waters.
To date, the Land and Water Conservation fund has issued more than 40,000 grants to state and localities.
In California, LWCF grants are administered by California State Parks, and awarded on a competitive basis to communities throughout California.