Building Bigger

City of Fort Bragg Bainbridge Park Playground

To build a space where high-risk youth can be mentored and seniors can be active and socialize.

The City of Fort Bragg is a severely disadvantaged community on the Mendocino Coast. The City’s population is approximately 7,000 people, Bainbridge Park is the only public children’s playground in the between Caspar and as far north as Leggett, which serves well over 14,000 people. While the natural areas surrounding the City are valuable for connecting with nature, fresh air, and exercise, they do not serve the same kind of important function as an outdoor community center such as Bainbridge Park. The combination of tennis courts, basketball courts, and playground are essential for fostering community and creating equity among all members of the community. Bainbridge Park is the only public playground that provides an opportunity for interactive outdoor play that is critical to social development for children and intergenerational community interconnectedness.

An integral part of Bainbridge Park, is the 9,200 square foot Wiggly Giggly Playground. Unfortunately, it currently does not meet ADA standards and is in poor condition. As the only playground north of Caspar (which also does not meet ADA standards) there is a significant unmet need. According to the Healthy Mendocino Community Dashboard, 20.2% of the City of Fort Bragg’s population has a disability which is higher than Mendocino County (16.8%) and higher than state (10.6%). Additionally, 10.6% of the City of Fort Bragg population has an ambulatory disability, which is higher than the state estimated at (5.9%). This means that there is a significant unmet need for an ADA accessible playground and active recreation area. The $25,000 grant will cover a portion of the two small artificial turf soccer fields which will be accessible to residents of all ages with disabilities.

The City of Fort Bragg is a small but dense. It’s remote location, surrounded by redwood forests and the Pacific Ocean make it an important civic and economic center for all of Mendocino’s coastal communities. For more than 100 years, the City’s economy and culture were based on heavy natural resource extraction including fishing and logging. As we continue to redefine our economic structure and focus on a future of sustainability, there is a significant need to support the civic infrastructure that will build bridges and create lasting bonds among diverse members of the community. Bainbridge Park is a place where people come together to participate in fitness, recreation, and social activities. Investing in Bainbridge Park to welcome all members of the community regardless of race, economic class, age, or ability will create a long standing social and cultural hub that will foster community for years to come.