The Appeal of Parks for Families Start it All!
In 1958, Cordova Recreation and Park District was established. At that time, the District was made up of three parks: Rancho Cordova Park—now known as Hagan Community Park, Federspiel Park and Ahlstrom Park. Roland Federspiel owned Cordova Vineyards, which had produced wine fine enough to grace the White House table, but drought and finances caused him to form a partnership with Glenn Ahlstrom and a contractor to build homes on the vineyard’s land. This development provided housing for veterans from WW2 to raise families. To make housing more attractive to these families, Federspiel and Ahlstrom donated land for the parks, which was the beginning of the District.
The Building of a Community Center
In September 1961, the CRPD Board of Directors approved plans for the construction of a community center as part of the 28-acre Cordova Community Park, later renamed Hagan Community Park. Paul Hagan, the first Administrator of CRPD, created a vision in the community center that would become a model for parks around the world. He saw this center as an opportunity to partner with local schools to be mutually supportive in programs and facilities. The plan approved by the Board included two buildings separated by a large patio, one wing for adult activities and the other for youth, three pools, and public restrooms. Cordova Community Center, later renamed Hagan Community Center, was successfully built in 1962 and on any given day you would see multiple activities, particularly during the summer when baseball games, swim meets, basketball and track events were a common occurrence. Cooperation with the high school meant that gymnastic classes were held in the multipurpose room, classrooms were used for a variety of topics, and fields were used for sports for both high school and community games.
A Few Parks into Many
As the years passed Paul Hagan continued to dream big and always looked for ways to purchase land and build new parks, expanding the District’s footprint. Beginning with just three parks, then doubling to six, CRPD eventually annexed the Rosemont and Larchmont areas. With each park, new partnerships were formed with neighboring schools to find ways to expand the resources for both organizations. Classes offered by CRPD included a variety of activities which ranged from cake decorating to martial arts, sports to preschool, and neighborhood summer camps which were held on school property because of joint use agreements with Folsom-Cordova Unified School District, Sacramento City Unified School District and San Juan Unified School District. More recently the District has expanded into new housing developments in the Anatolia area.
Looking Towards the Future
With the opening of Heron Landing Community Park in 2017, CRPD ushered in a new era of park and open-space design. Heron Landing Community Park became the type of facility CRPD will strive to bring to our community moving forward. With innovative features in sports field lighting, use of space, and the incorporation of areas for quiet contemplation, energetic play, and fitness, Heron Landing Community Park will become an area neighboring communities will look to for inspiration. It has become the marker for success in which we measure future parks as CRPD continues to grow.