Bakersfield’s Ward 1 Welcomes New Park After 30-Year Wait

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Significant changes are on the horizon for residents of Ward 1 in southeast Bakersfield, and they include the highly anticipated arrival of a brand-new park.

Janet Sellers-Hoggatt, a 49-year-old member of the local community, expressed her elation after hearing the news that Linnell-Brahma Park is finally set to become a reality. She had patiently waited for this moment for decades and credited her prayers for its forthcoming existence.

“I’ll be saying thank you to Jesus because, you know, I put a lot of prayer behind this,” Sellers-Hoggatt remarked. “While other areas receive funding to enhance their parks, we’ve been unable to develop a park in our community for over 30 years. It’s been rather unfair for our neighborhood, given that we have schools and children here who want a nearby place to play without having to travel to someone else’s neighborhood.”

The closest park to the area, Stiern Park, is approximately a mile away, requiring a 20-minute walk. The new Linnell-Brahma Park will be located near the intersection of South Union Avenue and Panama Lane.

Eric Arias, Bakersfield Councilmember for Ward 1, expressed his frustrations about the extended timeline for the park’s installation. “This here behind me is about a five-acre piece that this community has already contributed to creating this park,” Arias explained.

“So, there’s been some frustration that I’ve shared with constituents as well—that it’s frankly taken too long for us to establish this park. We know that construction costs have risen, but it’s been many years, even since we received the state funding to build this park.”

Arias identified the primary hurdles as the rising costs and the availability of materials, which were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the wait is nearly over, as Linnell-Brahma Park is slated to feature basketball half-courts, sand-pit volleyball courts, an art mural, and more.

The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to kick off next month in October, with construction expected to conclude in early 2024, approximately five months after the groundbreaking

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