Merced, CA (MEMRI) — There’s no doubt about it: We love the outdoors.
In fact, we’re one of the top three outdoor enthusiasts in the country.
But we’re also among the most densely populated and the most expensive.
And that’s why the city’s parks department is hoping to make things easier for visitors and businesses.
In recent years, Merced has taken steps to help people enjoy the outdoors, like offering free passes to park employees and creating a new parks and recreation fund.
Now, city officials are looking to expand its outdoor program by adding two new parks to the mix, a first for the city.
The city is partnering with a private company, the National Park Foundation, to provide a $50 million fund for parks, recreation, and community engagement.
The fund will go toward paying for a new public art installation, a $20 million renovation to Merced’s famous Golden Gate Bridge, and $10 million for a playground.
While the fund is not set to be activated until 2021, the city has already signed contracts with several private companies to develop new parks.
And with the support of the foundation, the Parks Department hopes to create two new, more outdoor-friendly parks in the next two years, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
One is called “The Garden of Eden” and will be a 10-acre green space located on the east side of the Golden Gate Park.
The other is called the “Parks and Recreation Fund,” and will go to the Parks and Recreation Department.
The funds will be used to improve and modernize the existing parks, create new parks, and provide additional recreation for the community, according to the Merces City Plan.
The Merced City Plan is one of several new public works projects announced by the city this year.
For example, the City Council voted in February to approve $1.5 million in new funding for park and recreation projects, including a $200,000 improvement to the north side of Grand Avenue in the Mission.
And the city also approved $150,000 for a “green space” at the intersection of La Jolla Boulevard and El Camino Real.
Merced plans to have a permanent green space, but a green space at the edge of the city is still on the table.
It’s a “more accessible and pedestrian friendly space” that will be “a focal point of the project, but it won’t be in the parks department,” said Mayor Paul Brawley in a statement.
“This is a project that we’ll make a lot of improvements to as we move forward.”