Edie Macdonald Park has been half-built in the Camden area for the past 20 years. Plans are to complete this 2.1-acre park during the summer of 2021.

Local parks provider, the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) staff announced that timeline during a Sept. 24 design workshop for the park. About a dozen neighbors of the park gathered at Roy Herburger Elementary School to view the park’s latest design plan and share opinions on its features.

“I’m excited,” Mary Grosjean, a neighbor, shouted after CSD park designer and planner Paul Mewton, introduced the design plan.

Proposed features for the restored park include two playgrounds, a shaded picnic area,  more trees, a nature walk area, an adult fitness area, and a half basketball court. The construction costs have not been determined yet.

Mewton said that the CSD board will review the final design plan for approval next month and construction bids may go out next summer.

Last year, the parks staff hosted a park design workshop that drew about 70 people.

“That got the momentum going,” Mewton said.

Neighbors this June voted in a local ballot to pay higher annual maintenance fees to restore Macdonald Park’s landscaping and to complete its construction.

The CSD parks staff last year cut back on park maintenance, due to funding shortfalls in the face of rising maintenance costs.  Neighbors soon saw tall weeds, drying grass and sycamore trees, and a vacant field of tall grass that was used as a dumping ground.

Half of the park was left unbuilt since the CSD staff did not have enough maintenance funds to take care of the park’s north side that borders Beckington Drive.

A neighborhood group called, Save Our Macdonald Park, began a door-to-door campaign to promote a new ballot vote to boost maintenance funding in order to restore the park.

More than 83 percent of local property owners approved higher park maintenance fees via a ballot vote.

Jill Jones, a leader of the Save Our Macdonald Park campaign, and a few of her neighbors told the Citizen that landscaping was soon restored at their park after the ballot results. Watering and weeding were increased at the park and nearby streetscapes. The “dumping ground” at the park’s vacant lot also disappeared after the space’s tall grass was trimmed.  

“It doesn’t look like a dumping ground so nobody’s dumping,” Grosjean said.  

Jones credited the low turnout at the Sept. 24 meeting to general satisfaction in her neighborhood.

She said, “The reason why there were only 10 people here is because everybody said, ‘We don’t care, we just want a park. We don’t care what it is, we just want it – and we got that.’”