California Department of Parks and Recreation Boating and Waterways Commission member Virginia Madueño invited several community members to participate in a tour of local waterways recently that also included State staff and commissioners throughout California. The purpose of the tour was to view potential sites for future funding through the Boating and Waterways Commission.
“I am very excited to have State staff as well as my peer commissioners from throughout California visit my local community and discuss how we can help create more opportunities for our local residents here in the valley,” stated Madueño.
The tour began at 9 a.m. where participants met at the Modesto City Hall council chambers for the Mayors welcome. They then boarded a bus with the first stop made at the Modesto Parkway Project, then they made their way to the Boys and Girls Club at the King Kennedy Center. They picked up box lunches from Greens on Tenth Street and had lunch at Jacob Myers Park in Riverbank where they also received a tour and learned about the history of the park. The final stop was in Waterford at the Tuolumne River Park Project.
“The tour was very informative,” added attendee and Riverbank City Council member Darlene Barber-Martinez. “I felt it was important to showcase our park. It is beautiful and enjoyed by our residents and people from the Bay Area and our adjoining county. Our park is very nice and we have done a lot to preserve it. It is really a gem in the Central Valley.”
Riverbank City Manager Sean Scully, Parks and Recreation Director Sue Fitzpatrick, Friends of Jacob Myers Park member Scott McRitchie, City Councilmember Cal Campbell and Councilmember Barber-Martinez represented Riverbank on the tour.
“It was a great opportunity to showcase Jacob Meyers Park,” said Scully. “The attendees seemed impressed with the work that had been done out there.”
Barber-Martinez explained that McRitchie shared the vision for the park on behalf of the Friends of Jacob Myers Park that included a grant that was used to install a boat ramp and the Bicentennial Tree area that has plaques for every tree representing the original 13 colonies. There are also talks of possibly planning for a dirt bike trail.
“We looked at the boat ramp,” expressed Barber-Martinez. “Then we walked the trail so they could see how the park is set up with benches, informational signs about the wildlife and the trees. One section they were amazed about was the camping area that can also be used as an outdoor retreat for a day outing.”
According to Barber-Martinez, the city created a park master plan which helped guide them on the expansions and amenities that were obtained.
“I was very pleased to say that our residents care about the park by participating in Clean-up days along the river, Love Riverbank, and Riverfest,” said Barber-Martinez.