The Desert Recreation District received a $4.5 million state grant Wednesday to build the first community park in Thermal.

The grant is a part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Outdoors For All” initiative, which aims to enable all Californians to access parks and open spaces, according to officials.

The Desert Recreation District is in the planning stages of the Thermal Community Park, and the grant will help the project move to the construction phase after the design process is completed. The district previously built the North Shore Community Park in 2018.

The district currently owns a 4.38-acre parcel of land between Church Street and Olive Street in which the park is planned to be built. Officials are seeking five more acres to make the park approximately 10 acres, according to Supervisor Manuel Perez.

“This is a major victory for the community of Thermal! This is exciting to receive this funding to develop the first park for Thermal,” Perez said Wednesday.

“This community park is much needed, as the nearest parks to Thermal are currently in the city of Coachella or six miles southeast in Mecca,” he added. “These funds are a wonderful investment in the quality of life and health of our community.”

Cathedral City, Coachella and Indio were also awarded funding for park projects as a part of the “Outdoors For All” initiative.

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