“The places where we live, work, and play all contribute to our ability to become and stay healthy.” That was the premise of a grant submitted to the California Natural Resources Agency that garnered the City of Coachella a $3.2 million award for the Grapefruit Boulevard Urban Greening and Connectivity Project. It was the largest award of its kind in the state and will transform a busy commercial corridor that carries nearly 40,000 vehicles per day into a scenic highway, while also providing essential infrastructure for future community development.
After the revitalization of Coachella’s downtown core into the Pueblo Viejo Downtown District, the City envisioned the Grapefruit Boulevard project as a way to link people to the places where they could walk or bike and enjoy the strong pride of place for which Coachella is known. Places like schools, parks, library, post office, senior center, restaurants, and shops. Bike lanes, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, landscaping, shade structures, lighting and signage are all designed to serve as a valuable urban forest resource that contributes to human health and quality of life.
“This is an exciting project for Coachella,” says grants manager Celinea Jimenez. “Beyond the social well-being and aesthetic value, the trees and landscaping provide an ecosystem to clean the air, protect our water, shelter businesses, and conserve energy. The project creates a pleasant, artful and accessible route for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy. We asked the community what they wanted and they gave us great direction.”