The Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) board on Feb. 3 approved a $1.1 million construction plan to finish Edie Macdonald Park, which sat incomplete for the past 24 years.
The CSD now plans to install features such as a basketball court, a new playground, shade structures, a nature garden. Their staff estimated that the park will reopen to the public this late summer or early fall.
About half of the 1-acre park at Spring Azure Way is a grass field near its playground area. A lack of adequate maintenance funding prompted CSD officials to leave the park half-finished when it opened in 1997.
In the late 2010s, neighbors formed the group Save Our Macdonald Park and successfully persuaded enough local property owners to approve higher park maintenance funding via a 2019 ballot vote. They agreed to have increases in their annual Landscape and Lighting assessment fees, which requires a ballot vote under state law.
“Tonight’s board action takes us a giant step closer to realizing the dream of a new Macdonald Park,” said Jill Jones, a co-organizer of Save Our Macdonald Park, told the CSD board on Feb. 3.
She noted that her group’s 12 members knocked on the doors of more than 400 homes during their campaign to promote the ballot vote to complete the park and restored its maintenance that suffered from budget cuts.
Their campaign was particularly prompted by the sight of dry grass, broken park equipment, tall weeds, and low-watered trees. The CSD staff reported that 83% of voters in the Camden Point and Camden Estates neighborhoods approved the assessment fee increases.
Jones was last year awarded the Champion of the Community Award from the California Park and Recreation Society.
“Thank you to the community champions in the whole Macdonald Park area for making this a reality,” CSD Director Rod Brewer said.
The board awarded the construction contract to Olympic Land Construction, a firm that built the Oasis Community Park in Elk Grove last year. More than $47,000 will be funded by the CSD’s Quimby Fees account to cover a budget shortfall, due to additional costs such as removing excess soil and price increases in construction material, according to the CSD staff report.
Paul Mewton, the CSD’s chief of planning, design, and construction, said that construction will begin on Macdonald Park’s second phase in either April or May, depending on weather.
CSD Board President Jim Luttrell complemented the local neighborhood’s grassroots effort to restore the park.
“This little, 1-acre park taught me more about parks and community involvement in the four years before this came up,” said the president who completed his first board term last year. “This was really public involvement at its best.”