Valley Hi Park Renovation
By Chris Holm
Valley Hi Park, located in South Sacramento at Center Parkway and Arroyo Vista Drive, got a much needed renovation last Saturday, April 27. Three parks in the area – Valley Hi Park, Mesa Grande Park and Hite Park – were the parks chosen for the 4th Annual Mormon Helping Hands Community Day of Service in Sacramento. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had chosen the area for their Helping Hands project this year and the community stepped up to join in and make the project even more successful. Over one thousand volunteers spent the morning working on various projects at the parks, followed by a BBQ lunch for everyone.
Given my interest in walking, I volunteered to work on edging and weeding along the sidewalks and gutters. My wife and two teenage sons also joined me, but the irrigation sprinklers team needed help, so they went to dig in the dirt and mud.
It was great to see all the cleanup and improvements at Valley Hi Park. Over thirty projects were completed, such as installing benches, par-course exercise equipment, and barbeque grills, renovating the baseball field, soccer fields, and volleyball court, and replacing the play-structures play surfaces.
WALKSacramento began working in the Valley Hi community when we led a walk audit of Valley Hi Park as part of our work with the Health Education Council, which has been working to increase physical activity at Valley Hi Park and improve the health of the Valley Hi community. Their work, and ours, in Valley Hi is funded by the South Sacramento HEAL Zone, the local project in the Healthy Eating Active Living initiative of Kaiser Permanente.
During the walk audit, residents of the community and parents and staff from Leimbach Elementary School helped us to identify walkability issues at Valley Hi Park, but even more attention was brought to the park environment because of the gunfire that occurred in the park while we were there. Since then, with the efforts of community members, social and religious organizations, the police department, and the HEAL Zone project, there’s been a lot more happening at the park. Now, with the park renovation, we expect the community to be using their parks even more. This summer there will be a celebration of the renovated park, and we’ll post information as the day of the event gets closer.