The 411 on Santa Ana’s Newest Park

Councilwoman Michele Martinez

The city of Santa Ana has a teeny amount of public park space per resident compared to just about every other city in Orange County (save Stanton), so when a new park is announced, it’s a big deal especially when it is close enough for use by Willard Intermediate School students and the surrounding neighborhood.

Santa Ana Council member Michele Martinez touted the new park with this quote in the Voice of OC: “That zip code, 92701, we all know there aren’t too many parks, and it’s an area that really needs a lot of help,” said Councilwoman Michele Martinez.”

From the city’s press release:

 The City of Santa Ana and the Santa Ana Unified School District received word from the State that they have been awarded a $4.4 Million grant to develop Willard Intermediate School as a Public Park. The new park will be a joint-use recreational facility to be of use for Willard students during school hours and then open to the community for their use after school, on weekends, and during the summer, winter, and spring school breaks.

The Willard Park will have a synthetic field with lights for youth to play various types of sports, a rubberized track around the field for all members of Santa Ana families to walk and run daily, and a new playground for children. A restroom and landscape improvements will also be provided by the grant.

The award comes from the Proposition 84 Park Development Program. $182 Million were issued in awards throughout the state and Santa Ana is proud to receive two awards. The second park is due to Latino Health Access also receiving from this Grant Program a $3.5 Million award to build a park and center in the Lacy Neighborhood.

So what the problem here?  A small one on Martinez’s part. 

Park PlaceThe new park she mentioned in the quote is not in the 92701 zip code; it’s in the 92706.  The address for that park is on N. Ross St, Santa Ana, CA 92706. The Lacy neighborhood park is the one in the 92701 zip code and details about what that park will include weren’t available on the city’s press release.  But it does appear Martinez got the parks mixed up by features, location and grants.  We invite her or somone from the city to provide details on the Lacy neighborhood park in the comments below.

Martinez is a candidate for the state assembly in AD-69; she’s been on the Santa Ana city council for nearly five years.

We applaud any new park that comes online in Santa Ana for its residents.



  8 comments for “The 411 on Santa Ana’s Newest Park

  1. Thomas Anthony Gordon
    October 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    The claim of a new park in the Willard neighborhood is a bit of a stretch.

    The City of Santa Ana along with SAUSD are using more than 4 million in Prop 84 water bond funding to rehabilitate existing space at Willard School. The City of Santa Ana is not creating one additional square inch of NEW open space at Willard or elsewhere in the City. The community surrounding Willard has always used Willard as a park due to the dire lack of open space in the area.

    They should have placed the existing on grade asphalt parking lot underground and added grass, trees and a place for the surrounding community to find shade and solitude at anytime of the day….

  2. October 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Well, it should be no problem for a councilmember who can’t read or follow directions to be elected to the State Assembly. In fact, she should fit right in. What’s the problem? Hell, give her a chance, she could even be our next governor.

  3. SAGirl
    October 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Of course Michele wants to take credit for a park, she has done so little. Just wait to read her campaign material, she’ll put it down as an achievement. The council constantly say how SA is park poor, but they do nothing. Now that the city is broke, we’ll never will see one.

    Willard is not a park, but just what the article say it is a joint-use recreational facility. The credit should go to the agencies that fought hard to get a joint use agreement.
    As for the zip code, it is irrelevant 92701 or 92706 both are so overcrowded and lack open space. I will always blame the city for creating areas like Willard, SA/Lacy neighborhood & Minnie Street. They create the blight & then become heroes when they make improvements!

  4. junior
    October 11, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Santa Ana is “park poor” – yet the Planning Commission passes an “Affordable Housing Ordinance” which will allow developers to increase the density of housing. No doubt this increased density will go to those areas of SA that have no parks – brilliant!

    • Repulsed
      October 11, 2011 at 7:49 am

      What is the matter with this council? Really, what are they thinking?
      How can you you continue to build housing for the working poor, jam people cheek by jowl in these economically depressed neighborhoods, offer NOTHING but free school breakfast and lunch, and countless nonprofits to fill in all the other gaps. Then they sit at council and talk about making hard choices. The hard choice for them would be NO MORE LOW INCOME HOUSING until there is real economic recovery in this city

      • junior
        October 11, 2011 at 9:03 am

        The only thing that I can figure is that someone running for higher office thinks that it would be a feather in her cap to get an Affordable Housing Ordinance such as this on the SA books.

  5. cook
    October 11, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Parks don’t make campaign contributions or hire friends, relatives or ex-city employees as consultants.

  6. October 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    From the Voice of OC story and the city’s press release, I had the impression these were brand new parks…

    Improving existing parks with new equipment is always positive, but how about creating more parkspace for people.

    I’m spoiled in Irvine. We have a fantastic public park a five minute walk from my home. The park already had an equipment upgrade to newer and safer playground equipment. My son his a grand slam dinger there and my daughter scored her first soccer goal there.

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