Photo courtesy of APWA
Photo courtesy of APWA Photo courtesy of APWA

Monterey County’s Pajaro Neighborhood Park was recently named a 2015 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The team of winners includes the former Monterey County Redevelopment Agency as the managing agency; Granite Rock Company as the primary contractor; and SSA Landscape Architects, Inc., as the primary consultant; winners were presented with the award during APWA’s 2015 International Public Works Congress & Exposition Awards Ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona held August 30-September 2, 2015.

The Pajaro Neighborhood Park project is being honored APWA’s Project of the Year award: Small Cities/Rural Communities – Structures category. This award honors agencies representing cities and communities with a population of 75,000 or less. The SC/RC Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in demonstrating creativity, ingenuity and efficiency in the delivery of public works projects that have a profound impact on the community.

The Pajaro Neighborhood Park Project completed the construction of a new, state-of-the-art, five-acre park, which became the first public park in the unincorporated community of Pajaro in Monterey County. The Park was constructed on an old construction storage yard donated to the community, but now has a three-acre synthetic sports field, barbeques, shade structures, a stage pavilion, two large playgrounds for different age groups, a basketball court, a walking/jogging path, and a large community mural along the walls of the park. The park brings a much-needed open space to the small, often underserved, farming community and will play a major role in bettering the lives of the residents of Pajaro by enhancing community involvement, health, education and pride.

The Pajaro Park Project also incorporated many environmental-friendly and sustainable techniques in the design, including drainage bioswales to replenish groundwater, solar panels to reduce non-renewable energy demands, a multi-use parking lot to promote carpooling, and drought-tolerant native plantings to reduce water consumption. The synthetic turf requires no irrigation, serving as another tool for saving water. Its sub-base utilizes a 12” layer of aggregate base to stabilize poor soil and minimize shifting in the flood zone, and the rubberized field infill material was manufactured from recycled tires supported by a CalRecycle grant.

The funding for the project included a $5 million grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program of 2008 (Prop 84), a $138,500 grant from the CalRecycle Tire-Derived Product grant program, and $1.2 million in Redevelopment Agency Tax Increment funds generated by the community.

For more information on the APWA 2015 Projects of the Year, please contact APWA Media Relations/Communications Manager, Laura Bynum,, or call 202.218.6736.