For the last two weeks staff of Kern County Parks and Recreation have been hearing proposals about what to do with Bakersfield’s Hart Park, and at least one group has an ambitious proposal to create a water park there.
Faced with increasing maintenance costs for the historic and sprawling park, the Kern County Board of Supervisors directed county staff to come up with a plan to make improvements to the park that would also help maintain the park. Initially county staff proposed a $5 parking fee but they were met with public opposition to that plan, and the Board of Supervisors ordered staff to rethink the idea.
Now the county has been soliciting feedback from the community about possible ways to fund improvements and maintenance during a series of community meetings. The last of those meetings is from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the David Head Center, 10300 San Diego St., in Lamont.
One group, the Tortuga Bay Water Park, is proposing building a large water park near Hart Park Lake between Canal and Lake roads. The group envisions a lazy river, water slides, a wave pool and has provided an artist rendering of the layout of the park via its Facebook page. The plan also envisions a restaurant, boardwalks, a surf shop and a spa.
The group is urging residents to attend the meeting and express their support for a water park, and makes the point that Bakersfield currently has no water parks like the one proposed. The nearest water parks is a hefty drive for many with the closest being at Magic Mountain in Valencia, the Fresno area and Paso Robles.
For those who can’t attend the meeting, the county urges residents to email their comments to firstname.lastname@example.org