Groveland Community Services District (GCSD) has received a grant from the Department of Transportation’s Clean California Local Grant Program for $1.02 million for improvements to the Mary Laveroni Community Park. The existing park property includes land that was established as part of a train turnaround station in the early 1900’s during the creation of the Tuolumne River Hetch Hetchy water project for the city of San Francisco. The park is still one of the largest in Groveland. The park’s namesake was one of the first directors when the special district was formed in 1953.
The grant will allow GCSD to make improvements including the replacement of a small, outdated restroom with one that will accommodate the flow of visitors, installation of animal-resistant trash and recycling receptacles, beautification of the area with planters and benches within the park and along the downtown corridor, construction of a covered bus shelter and a shaded picnic area, and the clean-up of a recently acquired 37-acre piece of property purchased with State Per Capita Grant Program funds and designated for recreational use. Pedestrian facilities will be improved by the construction of accessible walking paths connecting amenities in the park, interpretive signage regarding California water history and the gold mining that took place in the area, as well as a trailhead information and wayfinding kiosk.
“We have also partnered with the local Chamber of Commerce to beautify our Main Street and install benches, planters, and trash and recycling containers in the downtown corridor," said GCSD General Manager @Pete Kampa, highlighting the importance of special districts working in partnership with the community.
Highway 120 runs through the quaint downtown area, with visitors stopping in on their way to the Yosemite Valley. The long-term vision for the park and surrounding area includes teaming up with Tuolumne County Public Works Department’s Groveland Vibrant Connections to Public Spaces project that will provide another public restroom, shade trees, and improvements to parking access. In addition, the district is working toward the development of a regional trail network, which includes the development of a 1.7 mile accessible paved multipurpose trail that follows the historic Hetch Hetchy Railroad grade that will link downtown Groveland to Mary Laveroni Park, the new Groveland Community Resilience Center, baseball field and the 3500 lot Pine Mountain Lake residential community.
Located only 26 miles from the northern entrance to Yosemite Park, Groveland is the most convenient gateway for tourists coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Stockton, or Modesto. The quiet hilltop community has managed to retain much of its old west charm, and still boasts the oldest continuously operating saloon in California. Travelers enjoy playing golf at Pine Mountain Lake’s 18-hole golf course, taking in the sun at one of the numerous recreational lakes nearby, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, and of course sightseeing. GCSD’s website offers links to ideas for recreation in the area, local businesses and even some tips on bird watching in the region. Their website, powered by CSDA endorsed affiliate Streamline, can be viewed at www.gcsd.org.