Parks and Public Landscape Planning and Development

Current Park Renovation Projects 

The Community Services Department is hard at work improving your parks and public landscape. Below is a list of current and tentative future Capital Improvement Projects planned for the Community. Projects and estimated completion dates are subject to change. 

Handy Park Renovation.  The City of Orange will be embarking upon a maintenance project to renovate Handy Park, located at 2143 E. Oakmont Ave. in the coming months. Renovation elements include the replacement of the existing modular building, parking lot rehabilitation including lighting upgrades, renovation and addition of walkways, improvements to the overhead picnic shelter structure, installation of hardscape in the courtyard area with a new shade structures, and landscape and irrigation improvements.  

General construction, including demolition of the current modular building and site preparation for the new building, is set to begin in May 2021 and be completed by October 2021. During construction, Handy Park will be partially closed the month of May and fully closed from June through the beginning of October.

Shade Structures. As part of the City’s initiative to install shade covers at all fourteen park tot lots throughout our park system, El Camino Real and Olive Parks are the next to have shade covers installed in spring 2021. Shade covers protect users, especially children, from the sun, and allow the equipment to be used year-round. Shade covers are currently installed at Belmont, Handy, Grijalva, Shaffer, and Steve Ambriz Parks. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

Santiago Creek Clean Up. The City completed significant tree, brush, and trash clearing along the Santiago Creek over the last year to create better visibility and access for safety, security, and maintenance personnel. With a recent increase in trespassing and unlawful encampments along the creek, it has become necessary to complete additional tree and brush clearing to eliminate concealed spaces.

Recent Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Accomplishments 

Parking Lot Resurfacing.

The City, in its continuing efforts to maintain its parks at a high level will be resurfacing parking lots.  Portions of parking lots at Grijalva Park and Olive Park are scheduled to be done and expected to be completed in the summer of 2020.

Shaffer Park Renovation

Re-opened April 13, 2019

After an extensive, top-to-bottom, refurbishment, Shaffer Park re-opened on April 13 with a grand ribbon cutting and community celebration. 
Nearly all of the park’s old infrastructure was replaced and upgraded. The old community building was demolished and rebuilt with a brand new community building with a kitchen and adjacent patios, which is now available for rental.  A walking path now meanders around the park, adorned with water wise landscaping that is served by an updated irrigation system.  We’ve installed a shaded, outdoor exercise circuit, complete with gym equipment that you don’t need a membership to use, and also added shade structures the tot lot.  The sports field was also reconfigured and new, energy efficient lighting added.

We hope that our community enjoys the renovated Shaffer Park, and that our residents continue to enjoy it for generations to come.

Yorba Park Renovation

Yorba Park and the Yorba Dog Park re-opened on April 7, 2018.

Yorba Park is built on the site of a closed landfill that operated between 1960 and 1963.  A Vapor Extraction System (VES) was installed to capture the landfill gases that had been detected at the site so they don’t vent to the surface. The City has continued operation of the Park, and until recently, monitored and managed the VES. 

In 2015, a Settlement Agreement was reached between the City of Orange and the County of Orange that identified necessary rehabilitation improvements to the Yorba Park site, and the party responsible for implementing the improvements. There were four project phases. 
  • Phase I - Grading Project: this includes clear and grub, grading and associated work, and rehabilitation of the parking lot. Completed July 2017.
  • Phase II - Vapor Extraction System (VES) replacement (County of Orange Project). Completed January 2018
  • Phase III - Park Re-Establishment: this includes a new irrigation system, turf/shrub establishment, replacement of the dog park fence and amenities, and the addition of picnic tables, benches and trees as funding is available.  Completed on April 2018
  • Phase IV - Restroom Replacement: The existing building has been shuttered for over a decade. This new building will bring back a needed restroom facility. Completed January 2018
The regrading of the park provided an opportunity to make improvements to the Park. These improvements include installation of trees, picnic tables, drought tolerant shrub plantings strategically placed to improve the aesthetic experience while both visiting and driving by the park, a designated path leading to the Santiago Creek Bike Trail from the Park parking lot, and renovation of the existing Yorba Dog Park. Also included is the installation of a restroom facility. All aspects of the renovation and improvements to Yorba Park are consistent with the environmental mitigation measures identified in the approved Mitigated Negative Declaration 1674-01 and 2004 Addendum. 

Calsense Irrigation Installation: Belmont Park, Santiago Hills Park, Serrano Park, and Fred Barrera Park

Completed January 2018
Over the last several years the City has continued the transition to a centralized, weather based irrigation control system in our parks and Assessment Districts. Calsense irrigation control systems have been installed at Belmont Park, Santiago Hills Park, Serrano Park, and Fred Barrera Park this past year.  McPherson Park, Depot Park, Plaza Park, Killefer Park, and the El Modena Basin are also slated to have Calsense systems installed.

These systems allow us to deliver water to our public landscapes much more efficiently, saving as much as 30% above what has traditionally been used in the past. We will also be able to program the irrigation to automatically shut off when it rains, when pipes breaks, or a leak is detected in the system, saving water that would normally be wasted. Best of all, we will be able to manage our irrigation remotely, which will let us program changes from any computer or mobile device.

Hart Park and Grijalva Park Camera Installation

Completed March 2018

Some City parks continue to experience increased graffiti and vandalism. In an effort to curtail illegal activity and damage to our parks, the City will be installing will be installing a surveillance camera system at both Hart Park and Grijalva Sports Center. Once in place, the cameras will hopefully deter unwanted activity and allow us to identify those responsible for vandalism or other illegal activity and pursue legal recourse. 

Hart Park Bandshell

When we renovated the Hart Park Bandshell Dance Floor in 2016, we also included an opportunity for the community to "Leave a Legacy" in the form of a customized, engraved brick. The proceeds from the bricks helped offset the cost of construction of the dance floor. The renovated dance floor was completed in time for the 2016 Concerts in the Park summer series.
The Outdoor Fitness Circuit at Grijalva Park makes every excuse for not embracing a healthier lifestyle obsolete. Three shaded areas feature 19 different machines in an Outdoor Fitness Circuit, including several that are wheelchair accessible. Completely free to the public, the elliptical cross trainer, leg press, stepper, and several other machines provide a gym style workout without the expensive membership fee.