Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian Children play on the large slide at Ramsay Park Friday where a major renovation and upgrade project for the popular park kicked off Friday.

Watsonville city officials gathered Friday to break ground on a major renovation and upgrade for Ramsay Park.

The Ramsay Park Renaissance Project is expected  to revitalize and transform Watsonville’s largest recreation site.

Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian Nick Calubaquib (from left), Director of Parks and Community Services, joins Watsonville Mayor Vanessa Quiroz-Carter and Supervisor Felipe Hernandez in the ground-breaking festivities.

The park now features a community center, the mammoth Soccer Central tent, soccer and baseball fields, a basketball court, a bicycle pump track, a skatepark, restrooms and more. The project will significantly bolster those features and include some new elements.

Watsonville Parks and Community Services Director Nick Calubaquib said the chief goals of the project is to increase community use and provide inclusive recreational opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities. 

“I’m thrilled beyond words that here in Watsonville together we are making the decision to ensure that our community and future generations have access to  quality park space,” he said. “In a short year and a half, Ramsay Park will be home of a newly renovated soccer field, a new multi-use sports field, south country’s first inclusive playground, a new dog park, a new permanent Nature Center and so much more.”

Improvements highlights include:

  • • Sotomayor Soccer Field: Will feature new natural turf, state-of-the-art irrigation system, terraced concrete seating, upgraded fencing, and athletic field lighting.
  • • Multi-use sports field: Redesigned into a synthetic turf field, capable of accommodating softball and soccer, and versatile recreational opportunities for sports enthusiasts throughout the year. 
  • • Inclusive playground: Innovative play zones designed for the diverse needs and interests of children of all ages and abilities. Plans call for interactive elements such as slides, swings, spinning features, musical and sensory areas.
  • • Dog Park: The project will introduce small and large dog park areas for canine companions to exercise and socialize in a safe and controlled environment.

While the new nature center is on the list of upgrades, it is not part of the Renaissance project. The 3,500-square-foot building will include interactive, bilingual, and culturally relevant exhibits and educational programs that highlight environmental stewardship, climate action, emergency preparedness and appreciation of nature. The Nature Center is a partnership between the City and Watsonville Wetlands Watch.

Contributed. This artist sketch envisions how the new nature center will look.

The Ramsay Park Renaissance Project also includes upgrades to trails and parking lots.

The Friends of Watsonville Parks and Community Services is currently holding a “Buy A Brick” fundraiser where the public can purchase a 6-by-12-inch brock with a personal inscription that will be used for walkways in the park.   

“We are thrilled to embark on this transformative journey towards revitalizing Ramsay Park,” said \Watsonville Mayor Vanessa Quiroz-Carter. “The Ramsay Park Renaissance Project highlights our commitment to fostering vibrant, inclusive communities and providing accessible recreational opportunities that enrich the lives of our residents. We look forward to the positive impact that this project will have on our community for generations to come.”

The $33 million project is funded by Measure R, a half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2022 to fund community projects. It is also funded through state grants via Assembly Member Robert Rivas, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and the City of Watsonville.For information, visit  watsonville.gov/2252/Ramsay-Park-Renaissance-Project.

Previous articlePhoto story: Goat Hill Fair antique show returns to fairgrounds
Next articleDriver dies after chase, plunge off West Cliff Drive


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here