Needles, CA: City of Needles accepts a $110,000 grant from the BHHS Legacy Foundation for improvements at Duke Watkin Park.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: City of Needles (Information):

Needles, California: The City of Needles accepted a BHHS Legacy Foundation Duke Watkin Park Grant for $110,000 during the adjourned regular meeting of the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority held on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021.

According to the City of Needles, in June 2021, the City of Needles submitted a grant application to the BHHS Legacy Foundation (“Legacy”) to partner together to complete much needed improvements at Duke Watkins Park.

The City of Needles has received $181,116 from proposition 68 from per-capita funding opportunity for park improvements or enhancements.

The City of Needles submitted an application to utilize those funds to install nine (9) field lights for the field area, which the existing park currently has no lighting which limits the use of the park and reduces outdoor recreational sporting events, and by installing lights sports such as youth soccer, flag football, softball can be played in the evenings verses the day light hours in extreme heat temperatures.

To expand the park project scope, the City of Needles submitted an application to the Legacy foundation to include much-needed rehabilitation of the existing playground area.

The park requires ADA improvements to be in compliance with current AD standards and to make the park accessible for residents requiring ADA supportive measures.

Currently, the playground equipment is sun damaged due to no shade and missing pieces, including a kid’s slide, due to vandalism.

The City of Needles’ proposed project is to replace the existing equipment with a new main structure, swings, two free standing structures, shade, benches, and ADA compliant mulch ground covering.

The City of Needles has secured multiple partners in the community include Robinson Electric, Phillips Excavating, Needles Unified School District, Colorado River Medical Center, Tri-State Community Healthcare, San Bernardino County Sheriffs Office, St. Vincent De Paul and the Needles Chamber of Commerce.

Each partnership recognizes the safety, recreational, health and wellness benefit of the proposed Duke Watkins Project.

Many have volunteered an in-kind match to the project, including the following:

Phillips Excavating is willing to provide the field lights trenching and concrete bases, playground equipment demo, haul and disposing off and dirt work for the mulch installation as an in-kind contribution, a cost savings of approximately $22,500.

Needles Unified School district is willing to provide students to earn service-learning hours to spread mulch, a cost savings of approximately $3,500.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office is willing to provide volunteers to install benches and provide site cleanup, a project savings of $2,500.

The City of Needles is willing to provide electric and parks & recreation employees to assist with the installation of field lights, playground equipment and mulch for an estimate cost savings of $48,500.

Robinson Electric Company has completed the field lighting design and is willing to provide staff to complete the installation of the field lights for a project cost savings of $8,700.

The Legacy foundation was impressed with the community outreach work of the city and commitment to upgrading the facilities at Duke Watkins Parks where the local community can enjoy fun, safe and healthy outdoor activities.

On August 10, 2021 the Legacy awarded the City of Needles with the $110,000 grant funding to support the project.

During the presentation of the check, those project partners for Duke Watkin Park were thanked, including Rainie Torrance at the City of Needles for putting together the packet and submitting what the Legacy call an “outstanding presentation” to their board, as well as project partners Needles Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Mary McNeil, Sandy Chandler with Robinson’s Electric, Captain Ross Tarangle with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station and Wade Phillips.

Also during the check presentation, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels gave thanks and recognition to a local hero name Sayla, who was so impress about the need to create this children’s play equipment that she sent out cans for donations at a number of different businesses.

Sayla told members of the Needles City Council, “a while back ago, I came up here to seek for donations for Pennies for the Playground, and a lot of people gave in dollars and money, and we ended up getting a lot of money so thank you – businesses for letting us put up these Pennies for the Playground; we brought in $365.00 for the playground.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels told members of the Needles City Council that the money Sayla raised was done in two weeks; people in the crowd applauded for her act of kindness and caring for other kids who needed a place that they can play.

Congratulations to the City of Needles, and many thanks to all of the Project Partners, as well as thanks to Sayla for her caring about her community.

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