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Update coming to Rotary Park in Arcata

ARCATA- The grass is overgrown, the playground equipment is rusting and the City of Arcata is planning to change all of that. By the end of the summer the city plans on remodeling Rotary Park that sits between south G and F street in Arcata.

Nearby resident, Paul Pitino has been asking city officials to fix the park for years. "This could be so much better, and there are so many people who could use it," he said.

Arcata's Parks and Recreation Department has plans to fix up old parks around the city for the next five years and Rotary Park is the first on the list.

Heather Stevens, Recreation Manager for the City of Arcata, said the park is one of a handful of pocket parks within the city that is in need of some attention. "Hopefully it will be another gathering place for community members to come together and exercise and meet up," she said.

Pitino has lived in the neighborhood since 1997 and has seen the community transform over the years. Blocks away where the Arcata Marsh is now used to be a dump. Now, several new homes and apartment buildings have been built in the area, but it is still one of the areas with the lowest income levels in city.

Pitino believes that remodeling the park will bring up the whole community. "If you go in and spend money in the worst neighborhood guess what? The whole pyramid raises up," he said.

Other neighbors in the area have been working with Pitino and the city to start rebuilding the park.

"Rotary Park definitely has a neighborhood that's growing and excited about updating it," said Stevens.

The community will come together with the city Wednesday night to start developing ideas and plans for the park in hopes of completing the process by the end of the summer.