Carlson Park Improvements Selected as One of Twelve Grant Recipients

This is a press release from the City of Arcata:

Future home of Carlson Park playground and special event area.

The City of Arcata will receive a $812,949 grant to improve Carlson Park in the Valley West neighborhood. Enhancing Carlson Park and improving opportunities in Valley West are among the Arcata City Council’s priority projects in 2022.

The California State Parks approved the City of Arcata for the grant award through the Rural Recreation and Tourism and Regional Parks Program, which funds new recreation opportunities within rural communities to support health-related and economic goals. The program is funded by Proposition 68 (2018 Bond Act), which provided $46.2 million in grant funds this round. 12 projects were selected out of 80 proposals received.

Funds will be used to construct a multi-age playground, including pieces that allow for universal accessibility, a special event area with picnic tables and BBQs, and a new restroom. Trails throughout Carlson Park will be renovated and new landscaping with native, drought-tolerant species will be added. Earlier this year the City was also awarded $691,000 from the Wildlife Conservation Board to improve nature and river access at Carlson Park, which will renovate the trail system, create an ADA river lookout trail and observation deck, a parking lot, bilingual interpretive signage, multipurpose court/boat staging area, and two access points to the Mad River.

The development of Carlson Park will provide numerous benefits to the residents of Arcata and surrounding communities, tourists, and the natural environment. The Park’s proximity to the Valley West neighborhood will provide nearby families and individuals with accessible and affordable recreation opportunities within walking and biking distance from their homes.

“I am super excited for a safe neighborhood park to be built just a short walk away for families that have lived in Valley West for decades,” says Lucy Salazar, Cumbre Humboldt President. The City of Arcata would like to thank all community members who have participated in Valley West and Carlson Park community engagement activities over the years. Their vision and support were vital to the success of the grant application. The City would also like to thank the California State Parks for their financial assistance in bringing the community’s dreams to a reality.

For a list of all grant recipients visit For information on Carlson Park, contact the Environmental Services Department by email at [email protected] or call (707) 822-8184.


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