Cool new stuff is popping up all over A-town

Arcata's new drop-in futsal court. Matt Filar | Union

Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union

ARCATA – Even in hard times fraught with uncertainty, amid darkened businesses and a flaring pandemic, society apparently still has the wherewithal to move forward with upgrades here and there. 

Over at the Community Center, the new futsal court is complete and in use. The $355,000 court was paid for by a private donor plus city funds. It operates on a no fee, drop-in only basis, with no reservations accepted.

“The vision of for a common gathering place where everyone is welcome,” said Paul Swenson, former Humboldt Youth Soccer League boardmember and director. “People show up, and people find a way to accommodate them.”

Bilingual signage is in the works, and a formal opening ceremony will be held at some point.

A child lobs a basketball at Shay Park's new playground. Matt Filar | Union

Shay Park also has a new recreational facility – a playground with a basketball court. Still to come are tables and seating.

Shay and Redwood parks may both see further improvements from a state grant applied for last week. 

The Redwood Park Master Plan incorporates accessibility standards and upgrades park facilities for  access and safety, including replacing playground equipment, resurfacing the basketball court, and connecting trails, including a nature play area, relocating the outdoor amphitheater space, adding a pump track and, improving parking and storage facilities. 

Still another grant has been applied for to make possible improvements in Carlson Park  in Valley West, adjacent to the Mad River Parkway Business Center and the Mad River.

According to a staff report, community input aided in creation of a preliminary design for the park to include a playground, picnic and barbecue area, improved ADA accessible non- motorized trails for Mad River viewing, trail access to the Mad River for water-associated recreation and a multi-use court. Supporting amenities could include signage, vehicle and bicycle parking, water fountains, vault toilets and recycling/trash receptacles. 

Valley West could also see a larger playground and play/sports field.

A new EV charger at Eighth and F streets. Matt Filar | Union

Over at the parking lot at Eighth and F streets, a new electric vehicle charging station is being installed and the existing one upgraded. 

Working with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, the city is planning for installation of four EV charging bays offering a total of eight ports at the Community center.


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