As someone who works in the Cultural Arts District in Downtown Fresno, I’m always excited when a new business or destination opens up within walking distance of my office. I try to take walks whenever possible on breaks, as sitting in desk chairs for hours is apparently not so healthy for you. Go figure.
I had heard news of a nearby park nearing completion late last year, but due to the busy season at work, I hadn’t had a chance to check out its progress. Then, one evening as I was driving home, I was surprised to see beautiful, colorful lights flashing brilliantly in the winter sky. “What are those?” I wondered.
Turns out, they are programmable, lighted, one-of-a-kind shade canopies that mark the grounds of the now-open Cultural Arts District Park located at Calaveras and Fulton streets.
It was such a joy to see new green space in Downtown Fresno, and I couldn’t wait to get the opportunity to walk there. So, this past week I dragged my coworkers out from behind their desks and we enjoyed brisk, California winter (read: mildly chilly) walks to the park each afternoon.
How lovely it was to see families and children playing on the new playground! Typically, though there are a lot of people out and about downtown during the day, you don’t necessarily see a lot of children out playing—and this park is changing that.
Surrounded by new lofts and storefronts, the park offers a place for families living nearby to be active and make a little noise. It’s also a nice place for those who work downtown to enjoy a picnic lunch.
There is also a fitness area with multiple body-weight apparatuses, so if you’re out walking and want to get a strength workout in, you can do that, too. (Note: if you don’t typically do these types of exercises and you get silly and attempt to do them in front of coworkers as a joke, you will be sore. Just sayin’.)
Cultural Arts District Park is one of two new parks to open in the Fresno area in the last few months, and both parks are part of a larger plan to increase green space for all Fresnans. (I’ll do a post on that second park soon, so make sure to look for that!)
The plan also includes opening school campuses on weekends for public recreation with supervision provided by the City Parks and Recreation department. Fresno residents can enjoy the playground and grass areas from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays at all of the following schools: Addams, Yokomi, Wilson, Steinbeck, and McKinley elementary schools; Scandinavian, Terronez, and Wawona middle schools; Bullard, Edison, Fresno, Hoover, McLane, Roosevelt, and Sunnyside high schools, and either Vang Pao elementary or Sequoia middle school. (Yay for more green space!)
So, if you’re near Downtown Fresno soon—and even if you’re not—you should definitely make the effort to go check out the amazing Cultural Arts District Park. Enjoy!