The Mecca Sports Park provides a new active green space in Mecca
MECCA – The Mecca Sports Park, a new six-plus-acre park with fields, courts, a splash pad, a kiosko and a variety of features, will officially open to the community Saturday, Oct. 28 with a grand opening celebration.
Festivities start at 10 a.m. There are tacos for the first 300 people who come. Throughout the day, there will be mariachi performances, ballet folklórico performances, sports demos, music and games.
The Mecca Sports Park is adjacent to the Mecca Boys & Girls Club, located at 91‑391 Avenue 66 in Mecca.
The Mecca Sports Park provides a new active green space in the community of Mecca, in proximity to the Mecca Boys & Girls Club. It is a major expansion of recreational opportunities for not only the community but the eastern Coachella Valley region.
The park, which was originally envisioned 20 years ago alongside the other improvements built in downtown Mecca, came to fruition as a result of Supervisor V. Manuel Perez seeing the opportunity with the new Avenue 66 bridge coming in. For years, funding that was originally intended for the park, redevelopment funding, was no longer available, however, the bridge coming in provided the right opportunity for Perez to bring back plans for this park, according to a news release.
That bridge provided initial funding to the park project from the Riverside County Transportation Department for a portion of right of way. Riverside County subsequently applied for and was successful in obtaining a state park grant of $5.8 million from a newly passed state parks bond to build out the park.
“This is a beautiful and amazing new park in the community of Mecca!” Supervisor Perez. “I am very proud of the fact that, after so many years, the community is now going to have this park, a vision that dates back to Supervisor Roy Wilson and the Mecca community as well as Supervisor John J. Benoit, and I was fortunate to be in this position to fulfill this. For the farmworkers, the service workers, the children, youth, adults, seniors, everyone who calls Mecca home, this is your park, a great space for people of all ages to enjoy!”
In addition to putting in features that the community expressed they wanted to see during outreach meetings, Supervisor Perez also emphasized the importance of having a culturally competent design that reflects and highlights the culture of the community. One of the park’s unique features is a prominent lighted kiosko, a pavilion seen throughout México, which will provide a space to gather.
Additionally, the park features multipurpose fields and walking paths with lighting, playgrounds, a splash pad, sand volleyball courts and exercise stations. Other features include restrooms, a concession building, lighted picnic shelters, picnic tables, drinking fountains and a bike rack, and trash receptacles.
The $6.7 million project was largely made possible with a $5.8 million state grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, awarded to Riverside County in 2020. State Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia was instrumental to the county receiving these Proposition 68 monies, and as a champion on this and many other parks in the Fourth District. Other funding sources include Community Development Block Grant funds and the aforementioned county transportation funding.
The Mecca Sports Park project was led by the Riverside County Facilities Management Department, and construction was performed by contractor Three Peaks Corporation of Calimesa. The park will be managed by the Desert Recreation District, under a maintenance and operations agreement between the county and the district.
“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome everyone to the grand opening of the Mecca Sports Park, a place where dreams will come to life and where memories will be made,” said Kevin Kalman, General Manager of the Desert Recreation District. “This facility is more than just a park; it’s a testament to the spirit and unity of our community. We can’t wait to share the joy, excitement, and endless opportunities this park will bring to all of you. Let’s come together and celebrate the future of sports and recreation in Mecca!”