Board of Supervisors Vote 5-0 in Response to American Rescue Plan Act funding towards Outdoor Community Healing Projects

San Bernardino, CA- After encouraging the use of the response the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) had towards assisting the county for months, Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr. alongside his colleagues on the County Board Supervisors approved a series of initial community investments that will enhance the lives of our youth in the cities of Rialto and San Bernardino.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law on March 11, 2021, that established the $350 billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to distribute key resources to state and local governments throughout the nation. The County of San Bernadino received approximately $420 million of those federal funds, and Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr. immediately held a couple of community meetings last year where he solicited input on how best the county can invest these resources back into our community.

Approved today, is Guadalupe Field Improvement Project – City of San Bernardino. Guadalupe Field is a 2.25-acre park that serves the community of San Bernardino City with a baseball field, picnic tables, and barbeque amenities Renovating Guadalupe Field will mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 by promoting healthier living environments as a result of encouraging community members to engage in outdoor and socially distanced physical activity. Projected expenditures of $995,000 will be funded by the ARPA Fund to renovate the existing building & field, upgrade lights, replace fences, install new bleachers and score board, and acquire park amenities.

The second community investment is the International Healing Garden Construction Project – Rialto Unified School District. The Rialto Unified School District (Rialto USD) plans to construct the 2.6-acre International Healing Garden at an estimated cost of $5.7 million. Of this estimated cost, $2 million will be funded from the San Bernardino County ARPA Fund. The objective of the International Healing Garden is to provide a physical location to support awareness and participation in local environmental issues, as well as physical and mental health. The students and families of Rialto USD experienced trauma in various forms during distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As students and families resumed in-person instruction, the need for physical and mental health became evident in the schools. This facility will include a full-size kitchen, classrooms, and technology features for meeting and public gathering. The academic instruction at this facility would focus students as well as the community at large on local climate vulnerabilities, climate resiliency, and community awareness about the green economy as well as developing shared identity around the stewardship of water, air and land.

“I will continue to work and listen to the needs of the county’s 5th District to best put these resources to good use. Our goal is to keep revitalizing our communities to make a positive impact on our families and youth in our County.” -Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr.

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