Antioch park gets make-over with new playground equipment thanks to local parents group, City

Children play on the new playground at Contra Loma Estates Park, Saturday, November 20, 2015.

Children play on the new playground at Contra Loma Estates Park, Saturday, November 20, 2015.

New playground placed in one of Antioch’s most challenged neighborhoods

An Antioch neighborhood known for drugs, crime and violence (Sycamore) received a brand new playground, thanks to a grassroots group of parents and the City of Antioch who partnered to improve Contra Loma Estates Park. The parent advocates and representatives from the City of Antioch, including Mayor Harper and all four council members, as well as Rhea Elina Laughlin, Community Engagement Officer for First 5 Contra Costa and members of her team, joined together on Saturday, November 21st for a ribbon cutting ceremony and community celebration to unveil the new park.

The playground before the new installation.

The playground before the new installation.

The drive for the new playground began with the East County Regional Group, a parent advocacy group sponsored by First 5 Contra Costa, who first conducted in-depth rating assessments of every park in Antioch. Their findings revealed that parks located in the city’s lower-income communities were plagued by crime, graffiti or unsafe conditions that rendered these parks unusable by families, compared to the city’s newer neighborhoods.

The culmination of high crime and child poverty rates, along with its very low park rating, led the parents to select Contra Loma Estates as the park most in need of rehabilitation. They took their findings to the Antioch City Council, who given their ongoing efforts to improve safety in the Sycamore neighborhood, allocated $250,000 to renovate the park. The parents group worked with City staff to design the new play structure and will be partnering with the Antioch Police Department to address residents’ safety issues.

The renovated Contra Loma Estates Park includes a brand new play structure for toddlers and school-age children, play structures designed for children of all abilities, such as children in wheel chairs or with other special needs and a foam floor which replaces sand that often contained needles, used condoms and glass.

Rhea Elina Laughlin of First 5 Contra Costa, with Antioch Parks & Recreation Director Nancy Kaiser, thanked those in attendance gathered for the ribbon cutting of the new playground on Saturday, November 20, 2015.

Rhea Elina Laughlin of First 5 Contra Costa, with Antioch Parks & Recreation Director Nancy Kaiser, thanked those in attendance gathered for the ribbon cutting of the new playground on Saturday, November 20, 2015.

Physical outdoor play is important for children’s health and development, but not all children in Antioch have access to safe, usable parks and playgrounds. Crime, vandalism, and unsafe conditions have prevented families from enjoying Contra Loma Estates Park – until now. This is the first victory for this grassroots group of parents, who aim to increase children’s access to outdoor play by improving one East County park at a time.

Contra Loma Estates Park is located at 2395 Manzanita Way at Mahogany in Antioch.

First 5 Contra Costa helps young children start school healthy, nurtured and ready to learn by investing in programs and activities focused on children during their first five years, the most important time in children’s development. Since 2000, First 5 Contra Costa has invested more than $120 million in Proposition 10 tobacco tax funds to help Contra Costa’s children get the best possible start in life. First 5 supports three Regional Groups of parents dedicated to making their communities healthier and safer for families. Learn more: www.first5coco.org.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

the attachments to this post:


New playground ladies


Playground before photo


Children play on the new playground


One Comment to “Antioch park gets make-over with new playground equipment thanks to local parents group, City”

  1. karl dietzel says:

    so lets be honest with each other for a moment.
    off course its a step in the right direction. a needed rebuilt was done, but any and all credit has to go to first 5 alone.
    I suggest that everybody reads their findings about all of the other Antioch parks and condition of the playground equipment. they are all in devastating condition and a safety hazard to kids who use it.
    the first 5 group has shown that the city is not taking care of things, just look at any other city owned, controlled building, look at our streets, lighting, stripping, signs and the list is 5 ml long.
    this park on mahogany was only done because of public pressure.
    and it is still a half finished project. the tennis courts were not concerted into basketball areas. there is nothing to do in that area for kids, nothing.

    so my question is:
    when will the park be finished?
    when will all our other parks get an overhaul?
    is the city waiting for a law suit?

Leave a Reply

tensibly-comptrollership