“We’re cleaning things up and making them look pretty,” said Perez. “We’ve got a lot going on.”
And while there’s plenty of pruning, trimming and planting in the works, there are just as many recreation-related projects underway – a task that also falls under Perez’s professional purview.
“Fairin is definitely up to her elbows in projects all over town,” said General Manager Rick Howard. “Partly because the growth to the town has come so quickly that we are trying to accommodate the needs of the community, and also because we are still figuring out the best way to handle the recreation-management end of things. But we’re working on it, and Fairin has done an amazing job of addressing the wide variety of amenities that a community like Discovery Bay deserves.”
Last year’s biggest recreation upgrade was the completion of the Cornell Park playground, which the town unveiled last summer. And recently, the installation of a full basketball court at Regatta Park was completed. The resurfacing of the court, which includes a durable, protective product called Plexipave, is expected in the next few weeks.
At Cornell Park – the town’s oldest –the resurfacing of the tennis courts and replacement of the fencing are also underway. “The tennis courts are long overdue for some repair and attention,” said Perez. “They have been pretty much unusable up to this point … The park has been in need of a facelift for a while.”
Other changes at Cornell include the removal of the tot lot in anticipation of the new pickleball courts. New horseshoe pits and revamped bocci ball courts are also on the to-do list. The anticipated cost of the Cornell upgrades is approximately $200,000. Funding will come from the existing landscaping and lighting zones and have been approved by the CSD board.
A $106,000 shade structure is also planned for Slifer Park later this year, along with a poured-in-place rubberized surface at the park’s playground, $70,000.
According to Perez, a section of Highway 4 from Discovery Bay Boulevard east along the country club will see significant changes before summer sets in. “We’ll be removing a lot of the trees that failed and will be putting in landscaping that’s compliant with CalTrans requirements such as shrubs and ground cover,” said Perez. “We believe these will do much better than what was previously there.”
And later this summer, new trees and shrubs will be planted along Clipper Drive.
With so much happening in and around town, Perez is looking forward to the numerous upgrades and changes underway. “We’re just trying to find ways to open the parks to all the members of the community,” he said. “We want to make all aspects of the parks usuable for sports, gatherings – all kinds of things.”
And of course, the dogs. “We get a lot of questions about that,” said Perez of the town’s plans to open a dog park, perhaps at Slifer Park. “We’re still in negotiations (with the county) and in the process of transferring Slifer from the county to the town. It’s taking some time, but it’s still absolutely something we are working on.”