Pittsburg Residents Make DeAnza Park Dreams a Reality

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Pittsburg, CALIF. – On September 26, 2020, the East County Regional Group, First 5 Contra Costa and Healthy & Active Before 5 will invite Pittsburg residents who live in the neighborhoods surrounding DeAnza Park to come together virtually for a design party to make final design decisions on renovations to the park.

DeAnza Park, located on E. Trident Drive, will undergo renovations including a re-paved walking path and new fitness equipment. Parent leaders with the East County Regional Group (ECRG), in partnership with First 5 Contra Costa and Healthy & Active Before 5, are organizing a virtual workshop as a crucial step in ensuring DeAnza Park reflects the unique identities, needs, and desires of neighborhood residents.

Event information for the DeAnza Park Design Party is detailed below:

Public parks are essential spaces for promoting community health, and in particular, physical activity, outdoor play, and mental well-being among families with young children. Early childhood is a critical time in the life course for promoting health and preventing chronic disease.

“We are thrilled to bring these park enhancements to DeAnza Park! Investing in our parks helps our children grow up healthy and makes our community stronger,” said Denise Woods with the ECRG.

With improved access to quality parks in their own neighborhoods, the youngest children of Contra Costa County are more likely to benefit from opportunities that build a healthy start to their lives.

“This project is an example of what we can accomplish together when we work in partnership across our organizations and follow the leadership of residents,” said Rhea Elina Laughlin, Community Engagement & Advocacy Program Officer with First 5 Contra Costa.

As public health officials continue to advise that people gather outdoors to avoid exposure to COVID-19, safe and culturally relevant outdoor spaces are more critical than ever. This is particularly the case for communities where most families live in multi-family or apartment housing and/or have little access to private outdoor space. Parks are not just physical spaces for exercise and play, but communal spaces for connecting with friends and family during this difficult time.

The DeAnza Park renovations are the result of combined support from a foundation grant, the City of Pittsburg, and First 5 Contra Costa. Funding was secured in part by the grassroots advocacy of parents in the First 5-sponsored East County Regional Group. The regional group led participatory park needs assessments that resulted in the identification of DeAnza Park as a priority for investment. The upcoming renovations build upon previous park improvements, made by the City of Pittsburg in partnership with the East County Regional Group in 2015.

East County Regional Group is a volunteer, parent advocacy group working to make East Contra Costa healthier, safer, and more equitable for young children and families. The ECRG is sponsored by First 5 Contra Costa’s Community Engagement and Advocacy Program.

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.

Healthy & Active Before 5 is a Contra Costa collaborative that advances health equity through local policy and environmental changes to support the health and well-being of children ages 0-5 and their families.

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