BigView – Let’s go to the Park

The BigView
By Chris Murphy

Let’s go to the Park!
Some of history’s greatest moments have happened at a park. Seurat’s famous pointillism A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, concerts in Central Park in NYC, speakers corner in Hyde Park, the show Parks and Rec, Summer of Love in Golden Gate Park, a melting cake in McArthur Park, marathons, protests, movements and so much more. Our region is host to many parks that have identities of their own. Most of us know Graceada Park, home of MoBand, Mancini Bowl, Earth Day and so much more. Did you know we have dog parks, county parks, bike parks, skate parks, Native Gardens, water parks, and State Parks all within a 30 minute drive?

Some of these parks are well established and well used, but some parks are in need of an upgrade, or even just a visit. Some of our parks have had the playground equipment removed for safety, but now need some serious upgrades. But what you need to do is check out our parks, take time and use them, plan events with your friends and get to know the parks of our region.

Modesto Parks Department
There are so many resources available at many of our parks, and one of the ways to learn about all of the options is the City Of Modesto Activity Book. There are swimming lessons, events for kids, art lessons and so much more at many locations. Some of our parks feature splash zones that is really great free family fun. Take advantage of these opportunities, grab the kids and head to the park. The City of Modesto operates and maintains 75 parks featuring:
– Over Five Hundred Acres of Turf
– Seven Splash Grounds
– One Wading Pool
– Forty Four Tennis Courts
– Eight Lighted Ball Fields
– Eighteen Group Picnic Sites
– Over Fifteen Miles of Bike Paths

Here are some of the highlights:
Beyer Community Park: Skate Park; Horseshoe Pits; Tennis Courts; Playground; Ballfields; Picnic Area and hopefully home to the Awesome Spot soon.
Davis Community Park: Picnic area, athletic fields, open green space & a playground are the draw at this expansive park.

Elk Park/Modesto Dog Park – Nice tree covered park for dog play

East La Loma Park: Tree-lined city park offering basketball & tennis courts, disc golf, trails, pavilion & a new playground project through the LaLoma Neighborhood Association.

Freedom Park: Urban green space offering picnic areas & a playground along with restrooms & a seasonal splash pad.

George Rogers Park: Neighborhood park featuring a baseball diamond, playground, basketball court & native plant garden

Graceada Park: Community park with shaded paths & a large playground, splash, pool, pavilion, plus tennis courts & live-music events. Home of MoBand and Modesto Earth Day.

Mary Grogan Park – Top quality soccer fields

Thousand Oak Park: Great paved paths and trails for walking along Dry Creek, disc golf courses, tennis and basketball courts featuring the Peggy Mensinger Dry Creek Trail.

Tuolumne River Regional Park: The Tuolumne River Regional Park is a large urban park under development featuring trails, dog parks, riparian areas along a seven-mile along stretch of the Tuolumne River between the cities of Ceres, California and Modesto, California consisting of 500 acres of public grounds in Stanislaus County, California

Ustach Park: Park with picnic facilities, a bike loop, basketball courts & playgrounds for toddlers & big kids.
Go here for a full list of our parks and amenities.

County Parks
There are some places you can go to get some mountain biking, boating, hiking, windsurfing, picnicking and so much more. There is so much variety with Woodward Reservoir, Laird Park, Frank Raines Park, LaGrange Park and Modesto Reservoir, all offering a very different experience. Woodward has been home to some amazing music festivals and Modesto Reservoir offers some great boating and recreation. If you get a chance to get up in the west side foothills, Frank Rains offers amazing vistas and trails.

Caswell State Park
There is a huge 250 acre state park that is within 30 minutes from our area located along the banks of the Stanislaus River that snakes through the park with many trails, featuring full service camping, water play areas, oak riparian woodland areas with many nature outlooks and wildlife observation area. There are ranger and campfire programs and swimming is permitted.

How you can help?
The best thing you can do to help is visit our parks. Having people in the park keeps the activities on the positive side. Foot traffic and population is the best way to stop bad activity. There are two park projects that really need your help right now in Modesto.

Awesome Spot
An amazing new park is in development at the Beyer Park that will be designed to be inclusive for all abilities and disabilities. An inclusive playground means that play structures are designed to accommodate assistive devices, wheelchairs and more. It truly brings the play to anyone and brings our community together. The design revolves around a nature theme as selected by our community that will be implemented through a rain forest, savanna, and swamp inspired concept. But the awesome spot needs you! Your donations and sponsorships are needed ot bring a whole new level of accessible and inclusive play to those with emotional and physical limits. Please help make this a reality.<>

East LaLoma Park needs you!
Yes friends, we need your help to build a new playground. A few years ago, all of the playground equipment was removed, with nothing left for kids to play on. East LaLoma Park is important to the community and families need a safe and fun place to play. You can help the LaLoma Neighborhood Association build a new playground, close to the pavilion that will revitalize this park. You can donate to the LaLoma GoFundMe page at
There will also be a Gala Hollywood Fundraiser on June 29 at the Modesto Mercedes Benz dealership
Ticket and Park info is here:

Gala In Graceada – May 11
By: Julie Sherer & Ken Peterson
Get ready for Modesto’s premier summer kick-off event! An evening featuring the most beautiful, elaborate production Modesto has ever seen in Graceada Park. Towering trees draped in twinkle lights, live music and social joy will fill the air. Local cuisine offerings, unique cocktails, wines and brews will further satisfy the senses. This elevated lifestyle experience can be yours and continue well into the summer via a collection of exciting auction items available including travel experiences, health, wellness and much more. Gala in Graceada’s mission is to celebrate Modesto and remember how wonderful this city and its neighborhoods truly are and will highlight Modesto’s beautiful public spaces, and inspire others to participate in the betterment of their neighborhood, community, and city at large. Funds raised will be used to launch Sundays in Graceada, weekly summer family and children’s programming in Graceada and Enslen Parks and raise funds for important civic projects and facility improvements within Graceada and Enslen Parks. This event is hosted by CANA, the College Area Neighborhood Alliance, through Modesto Neighborhood Inc.’s 501(c)3, non-profit designation. Tax deductions may apply.
Date: Saturday, May 11th, 2019 – 6 PM
Graceada Park, the green area south of Mancini Bowl, entrance will be on Park Avenue<>
Ticket Price: $150 (single ticket), $1200 (table of 8); each ticket includes two drink tickets. VIP upgrade for unlimited alcoholic drinks, $50 per person.



Posted in: news

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.