The park will get a new surface for its basketball court, more picnic areas, a concrete ramp to the bathrooms for those with disabilities and an expanded play area that includes water misters to keep kids cool on hot summer days.
The $402,641 for the project comes from Proposition 40, the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002.
County parks planner Christina James spearheaded the project. As part of the process, she helped organize more than eight community meetings to refine the project and prepare a second grant application.
“(The parks department) was so pleased with the turnout and level of involvement and passion surrounding the park site,” James said.
The San Lorenzo Valley Chamber of Commerce publicized the meetings to solicit involvement from the community, resulting in a design that was changed several times to incorporate what the residents wanted.
“I am extremely happy with how the county parks people have been,” said Thomas Wynn, SLV chamber president. “They are 100 percent responsible. They came up with the funding and plans, and we did the design. They’ve been extremely responsive to the community.”
The project will go to bid this summer, and construction will likely begin in August or September, James said.
“We all want to see the park looking good and attracting people and to be a comfortable, safe place to go,” said Joseph Giroux, a 21-year Ben Lomond resident. “I think refurbishment of (the park) will help out.”
There is a second funding source available to build additional improvements at the park, including steps down to the adjacent San Lorenzo River.
To pay for the river access project, county parks has applied for an additional $1.2 million through Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006.
Proposition 84 is a competitive grant, and the parks department will find out if it’s won the grant money in September.
If river access is built, it sets the stage for building a dam at the park — once a popular San Lorenzo Valley swimming hole. At the April 13 county supervisors meeting, supervisors directed staff to begin looking into what it would take to build a dam and accompanying fish ladder at the park.
Supervisor Mark Stone was supportive of finding a way to rebuild the dam. At a glance
• See the plans for Ben Lomond Park: www.scparks.com/projects-in-design-benlomond.html
• Join the Google group: http://groups.google.com/group/BenLomondPark