Nestled in the heart of Santa Cruz County, Chanticleer Avenue County Park is a testament to thoughtful community planning and a commitment to inclusivity. This unique public space offers a myriad of recreational opportunities, creating a haven for community members and visitors alike.
History and Background
The park’s existence is rooted in the area’s rich agricultural history. The land where the park sits was initially used for wheat farming, much like other farms in the Live Oak community. The historic farmhouse on the property, built in the early 1900s, has been designated as a historic resource. Over the years, the land’s usage evolved, hosting various structures, including residential apartments, several dwellings, various outbuildings, and even a church/preschool. In 1994, the County General Plan designated both parcels of land to be developed as a park to serve the surrounding residential neighbors.
Acquisition and Development
The Redevelopment Agency acquired the north parcel in 1995, followed by the south parcel in 2010, kickstarting the development of this centrally located neighborhood park. A series of community meetings were held to solicit community input, leading to a final conceptual plan that resonated with the community’s vision. The Park Master Plan includes the restoration of the historic home and water tank house, community gardens, preservation of select trees, landscape buffers and groves, orchards, active play areas, natural walking paths, picnic areas, a tennis court, off-leash dog areas, a large open informal turf area, a bike pump track, a restroom and maintenance building, a double bocce ball court, and a small skate element.
Accessibility and Inclusion
Chanticleer Avenue County Park is more than just a public space; it’s a symbol of acceptance and inclusivity. The park’s design goes beyond the minimum ADA requirements, ensuring accessibility for all. Children, regardless of their abilities, can enjoy playtime with their friends and families, promoting compassion, awareness, and acceptance.
Introducing LEO’s Haven
A significant feature of Chanticleer Avenue County Park is LEO’s Haven, the first inclusive playground to be built in Santa Cruz County. LEO, an acronym for Lauren, Evelyn, and Oliver Potts, represents the wish of these three siblings to play together at a playground. The inclusive design of LEO’s Haven allows children of all abilities to enjoy the playground, offering them various recreational opportunities.
Recreational Opportunities at the Park
The recreational opportunities at Chanticleer Avenue County Park are diverse, catering to a wide range of interests and abilities.
For Ages 0-5
The park features a dedicated area for children aged 0-5, complete with a farmer’s market with whimsical chicken seats, offering interactive and imaginative face-to-face play. The Animal Farm area includes elevated beams, rocks, and barrel steppers, perfect for honing lateral balancing and climbing skills.
Sensory Discovery Garden
The Sensory Discovery Garden offers an interactive and immersive experience for children, enhancing their sensory skills and curiosity about nature.
For Ages 5-12
The 5-12 Play Area offers fun and challenging inclusive activities. Children can explore the multi-level play structure, which includes various music and sensory activity panels.
High Activity Zone
The High Activity Zone features popular play equipment that promotes physical activity, gross motor development skills, and provides vestibular and proprioceptive stimulation.
The park is equipped with accessible benches, trash receptacles, and shade trees. A custom 4′ high thematic fence runs along the playground’s perimeter for children’s safety. Sidewalks from Chanticleer Avenue and the main parking lot provide easy access to the playground. The off-street parking lot includes two accessible spaces.
Impact on the Community
The development of Chanticleer Avenue County Park has significantly impacted the local community, providing a space for residents to relax, play, and connect with others. The park’s inclusive design promotes social inclusion, enabling children of all abilities to play together, fostering a sense of community and acceptance.
Join the Community
Chanticleer Avenue County Park is a testament to what communities can achieve when they work together towards a common goal. The park serves not just as a recreational space, but as a symbol of inclusivity and community spirit. As a community member or visitor, you are invited to experience the magic of this unique park and contribute to its ongoing success.
Chanticleer Avenue County Park encapsulates the spirit of Santa Cruz County, reflecting the area’s rich history, commitment to inclusivity, and dedication to the well-being of its residents. This park represents the best of community planning, creating a space that is welcoming, engaging, and accessible to all. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, Chanticleer Avenue County Park offers a wealth of opportunities to relax, play, explore, and connect with the Santa Cruz community.