Westlands Water District Donates 4.61 Acres to City of Mendota for Rojas Pierce Park Expansion Project
For Immediate Release
Contact: Diana Giraldo
Mendota, California (December 28, 2020) – On Tuesday, December 15, Westlands Water District Board of Directors approved donating 4.61 acres to the City of Mendota to support the planned Rojas Pierce Park Expansion Project – Phase 2, which is planned to include two soccer fields, an additional restroom and concession building, and sports field lighting, as well as additional parking. The land donated by Westlands is adjacent to the park’s newest soccer field and was previously used for agriculture and has been followed for several years.
“Having safe, open spaces for families and community members to enjoy is critically important to improving quality of life, and Westlands is pleased to support the City of Mendota’s effort to expand and improve Rojas Pierce Park,” said Tom Birmingham, general manager of Westlands. “Supporting and investing in west side communities is central to Westlands’ mission, and we are proud to partner with the City on this important project.”
The City of Mendota has worked to expand and improve Rojas Pierce Park since 2006. In 2008, Westlands donated 10 acres to the City to support the first phase of the park’s renovation and expansion, which involved demolishing most of the existing facilities and rebuilding, including; new landscaping, a concert pavilion, a splash park, two jungle-gym play areas, a temporary skate park, three basketball courts, a permanent concession stand, restrooms, and an emergency/maintenance access road. The land previously donated by Westlands has become a new adult softball/youth baseball diamond with covered bleachers and a new adult play soccer field. In addition to the new sports fields, the future phase of the park’s expansion will also include installing new shade structures, planting new trees and improving surrounding streets.
“This project advances the City of Mendota’s vision to provide high-quality, easily-accessible recreational opportunities for residents and surrounding communities,” said Cristian Gonzalez, City Manager for the City of Mendota. “We’re grateful for Westlands’ continued partnership in achieving these goals, and we look forward to the project’s full approval and construction.”
The City completed an environmental review of this phase of the park’s renovation and improvement in June 2019. The City is working on obtaining additional funding and plans for the additional expansion to occur in the next couple of years.
The original 12-acre Rojas-Pierce Park site was built in 1973 at the intersection of Smoot Street and Sorensen Avenue in Mendota. The park, which served as a memorial for Fresno County soldiers who died in the Vietnam War, was previously upgraded in 1981.
Mendota has a population of 11,828 with a median household income of $23,705. Nearly 42% of the population lives below the poverty line. The City currently has two other primary parks developed for recreational use and a total of 23 acres of park and recreational land. The City’s General Plan includes a goal of providing 5 acres of developed parkland for every 1,000 residents.
About Westlands Water District
Westlands Water District is recognized as a world leader in agricultural water conservation and has served the farmers and rural communities on the west side of Fresno and Kings counties for more than five decades. As stewards of one of California’s most precious natural resources, Westlands continually invests in conservation, and champions farmers deploying innovative irrigation methods based on the best available technology.