gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 48

Morgan Hill Parks and Trails Written By Robin Shepherd Beginning in April, the City of Morgan Hill will build several downtown community parks with something for everyone with a playful spirit. Construction of the parks is slated for completion in November. The City will utilize $2 million in state grant funds and expects to realize cost-efficiencies and reduce community impacts by tackling these projects simultaneously. Conceptual design of a comprehensive, accessible downtown parks system was done by Joni Janecki Landscape Architects, construction designs for the three parks was done by Verde Designs of Santa Clara. Little Llagas Creek Park Little Llagas Creek Park will comprise a one-acre park area west of the West 3rd Street and Monterey Road intersection. The majority of this land is owned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The park will enhance Morgan Hill’s ‘walkability’ factor, with a paved walking path connecting West 2nd and 3rd Streets, while providing a park setting for residents and visitors to gather, picnic, and enjoy the downtown together. Park development will include trails and walkways, a pedestrian bridge across West Little Llagas Creek, and installation of picnic tables and benches, play equipment, bike racks, street lighting, an information kiosk, and public art. The existing one-lane bridge will be replaced with a two-lane vehicle/pedestrian bridge meeting City roadway standards. Road repaving and improvements will occur on related sections of West 3rd Street and Del Monte Avenue, and a paved parking area will be added. Morgan Hill Inclusive Playground Park Our kids learn and grow mentally, physically, and emotionally through play. Why not have a playground where all kids can play, regardless of age or abilities? That’s the vision behind the Morgan Hill Inclusive Playground, a project spearheaded by community volunteers. Among the kid-centered features of the playground are a rock cave, a truss bridge, a sound garden, an area just for tots, a tree fort, kinetic art, an amphitheater, climbing walls and nets, a swing zone (including a wheel chair swing), signs in Braille, and a quiet garden with game tables. The playground and parking area will be fully ADA-compliant. Shade trees, plants and water misters will create a natural park setting that provides respite on hot summer days. MHIPP is organized as a nonprofit under the umbrella of the Morgan Hill Community Foundation. Fundraising efforts are well underway to fund the playground’s estimated cost of $5 million. Thus far, committed funds include $400,000 (plus the playground site) from the City of Morgan Hill, $150,000 from the County of Santa Clara, $50,000 from Junior League San Jose, $30,000 from CalRecycle, and $16,000 from Intero Foundation. A donor wall will be installed to honor those whose contributions will make this playground possible. 48 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH/APRIL 2017 gmhtoday.com