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January 5, 2023

Daily Breeze: Carson Has Big Plans to Upgrade its Parks This Year

Daily Breeze:

Clara Harter

PUBLISHED: Jan. 5, 2023 at 6:00 AM | UPDATED: Jan. 5, 2023 at 6:01 AM

Several of Carson’s parks will get a welcome facelift this year after most improvements were
paused during the pandemic.

A combination of city, state and federal funds have begun flowing, allowing the city to get plans
moving for new equipment, expanded facilities and updated amenities. While the city is paying
attention to conditions at all 12 of its parks, the focus this year is on Foisia, Veterans, Mills and
Carriage Crest parks.

The City Council has championed the park improvement effort, said Parks & Recreation Director
Michael Whittiker. In particular, he praised the expertise and support of Mayor Lula DavisHolmes and Councilmember Cedric Hicks, who both previously worked in parks and recreation.

“It’s very important that they are trying to maintain the legacy of the parks that we’ve had in
Carson and the programs and facilities as there has been a lull in maintenance for a couple of
years with the pandemic,” Whittiker said. “Now we’re really trying to jump back on the horse
and get our parks back up to the industry standard so that we can assist our residents.”

In September, Assemblymember Mike Gipson provided the city with $7 million in state funding to upgrade its parks. And last month, U.S. Rep. Nanette Barragán secured $2 million through the federal omnibus bill to install solar panels at Veterans Park.

This will supply a clean and cheap energy supply to the city and help offset electrical costs at the
Veterans Park Sports Complex.

“The Sports Complex is one of our biggest energy guzzlers,” Whittiker said. “We have two
gyms, a workout center, and racquetball courts.

“The solar panels,” he added, “will definitely help in terms of saving money and protecting the

There are also plans for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the sports
complex, as well as lighting replacements at Veterans Park.

One of the biggest projects in the works is the $8.5 million overhaul of Foisia Park. The city has
secured more than $4 million in federal grant funding for the project and will cover the
remainder through the general fund and development impact fees, Assistant City Manager
Robert Lennox has said.

The project includes significant upgrades to existing facilities, including the snack bar,
restrooms, playgrounds, basketball courts, pool, boxing center and recreation room. It also calls
for creating a new amphitheater and picnic area.

The city sent out a request for proposals for the Foisia Park and Carriage Crest Park
redevelopment projects in October and intends to award contracts in February, according to an
update filed at a Tuesday, Jan. 3, council meeting.

Plans for the five-acre Carriage Crest call for upgrades to existing facilities – including picnic
areas, baseball fields, and basketball and handball courts – as well as a potential 10 acre
expansion. The city is trying to procure land from adjacent Color Spot Nurseries to put in
additional ball fields and potentially a dog park, Whittiker said.

Over at Mills Park, the city is seeking to add an additional bathroom and new picnic shelters, as
well as complete interior upgrades to the central building.

Whittiker advised residents to pay attention to the city’s website as new updates on the status of
various projects will be posted in the coming weeks.