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Yuba County awarded grant for big improvements to West Linda park

A large stretch of land in West Linda is on its way to becoming an extensive eye-pleasing community park, following the announcement that Yuba County was awarded a $3.7 million “Urban Greening” grant from the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA).

The funding is to redevelop an area that begins with Friendship Park off Alicia Avenue and make improvements to the T-shaped lot that extends west to Cottonwood Avenue. The area is slated for a complete facelift that will include pedestrian and bike paths weaving among picnic areas with barbeques, shade structures, benches, 250 new trees and more than 100,000 square feet of multi-use field turf.

“In the coming months we will finalize plans for the park, after which residents will see crews in that area clearing much of that area and removing dead or dying trees to create a fresh canvas for the improvements ahead,” said Yuba County Public Works Director Dan Peterson. “The funding will also cover the important work of grading the property, adding irrigation systems, and putting up fencing.”

Although lots of changes are coming to that area, planners say the Hmong gardens along Cottonwood Avenue and other existing aspects of the park will be preserved.

Yuba County was one of 23 projects across the state selected to receive a total of $47.5 million in funding through the Urban Greening Grant Program. According to CNRA, the grants are intended to create more sustainable communities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide multiple benefits to residents, including expanding access to parks and green spaces in disadvantaged communities across the state.

Peterson said there are more plans for Friendship Park beyond those funded by the CNRA grant, although additional funding will be needed. Public Works is continuing to pursue other grants for further enhancements, including art kiosks, basketball and pickleball courts, signage, and more.

Work on the park is expected to begin in the Spring of 2024.