Tuesday Mar 31 2009
Our town’s a wonderful place to play
By: Megan Wood The Press-Tribune
From the first triangle to the last fish sculpture, here’s a timeline on the long, rich history of Roseville’s city parks
1905 - Duranta “Triangle” Park is designated to be Roseville’s first park. However, the bare plot of land did not feature any play structures and remained so for more than 60 years. 1917- Royer Park, purchased for $3,000, becomes a popular outdoor gathering place in the city. Over the years, features like a train, covered picnic areas and in the 1930s, a zoo, increased the park’s popularity. Retired Parks and Recreation Director Ed Mahany remembers that in the ’60s, people traveling between the Bay Area and Tahoe would stop at Royer Park to have a picnic and take a break. “It was Roseville’s rest stop,” Mahany said. “There were always events there or people just eating a picnic lunch.” 1934- Woodbridge Park is built to honor the Woodbridge family. Dynamite was used to create holes for planting trees. 1948- The City Recreation Department is officially established with a budget of $5,000. 1959- Roseville purchases Saugstad land, a total of 25.5 acres, it remains undeveloped until 1972 when construction begins on a baseball field and Saugstad Park. 1966- Local resident Shirley Ferretti confronts Roseville City Council about the dangers of neighborhood children playing in the streets. She requests $200 to install a large drain pipe to be used as a tunnel for the children to climb on and horseshoe pits for Duranta Park, later renamed Ferretti Park. 1970- The master plan for Maidu Regional Park is adopted by city council. The 150-acre project doesn’t open to the public until 1990. 1976- Lincoln Estates Park is built. The cement slide is a new feature for Roseville parks and paves the way for more innovative play structures. 1986- First big flood in Roseville requires rehabilitation of downtown parks and restoration of creek beds. 1995- Five major Roseville Parks and Recreation facilities open including Buljan Park, Mistywood Park, Woodcreek Golf Club, Mahany Park and the Roseville Aquatic Complex. 1998- Three new parks open, pushing Roseville’s number of parks to more than 30. Many of the parks include special features that include a 32-foot climbing wall at the Sports Center at Mahany Regional Park, a water feature at Mark White Park and a vernal pool at School House park provides an up close and personal look at ecosystems and natural wildlife. 2005- Roseville citizens Sylvia Besana and Leonard “Duke” Davis, David Uribe, Melba and Al Erven and Paul Dugan have parks opened in their honor. By the end of 2005 about 50 parks are available for use by its citizens. 2009- Roseville has 60 parks with more in the works and the highest per capita in the nation. This year George Goto park opened in honor of the WWII veteran, teacher, coach and athletic director hall of famer. Mel Hamel Park, in honor of the former mayor and Sierra Garden principal, also opened in March with a children’s play structure, soccer field and water feature. Unique Park Features City of RosevilleSenior Landscape Architect Tara Gee said she tries to make each park have a unique, defining feature. “That way when a kid says ‘I want to go to the fish park,’” Gee said. “Parents know exactly where to take them.” She admits that it’s not always possible but her team thinks with kids in mind at all times. In fact, up until recently Gee herself tested all of the play equipment herself. Melba & Al Erven Park- A water creature feature keeps a watchful eye on the playground. Olympus- Climb up a Stegosaurus’ back on the dinosaur shaped jungle gym. Hillsborough- Yo Ho! Climb aboard a pirate ship. Crestmont- Dig in the sand and you might find buried treasure, according to Gee. George Goto- A fish sculpture provides thirsty kids a drink of water. Future Parks Universally accessible parks are on the horizon for Roseville allowing children of all abilities to play together. According to Gee, The Western Town at Maidu Regional Park is currently being rehabilitated to become universally accessible and is scheduled to re-open this summer.