Roeding Park
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Roeding Park

Roeding Park is one of four regional city parks in Fresno, California - the others are Woodward Park. Kearney Park[1] and the Regional Sports Park.[2] The 90-acre (360,000 m2) Roeding Park includes a lake, several ponds, and groves of ash, cedar, pine, and eucalyptus, maple, and redwood trees and houses the Fresno Chaffee Zoo as well as picnic areas, tennis courts and horseshoe pits. The park also has a Japanese War Memorial.

The park also has an amusement park (Playland) operated by local area rotary clubs and Storyland, an amusement park with a fairy tale theme. Storyland is geared toward younger children. The park has a series of interactive scenes from well-known stories and fairy tales. Transportation between the two amusement parks is provided in the form of a miniature train powered by a steam-outline locomotive (a diesel locomotive made to look like a steam locomotive). During the summer, a troupe of local students performs plays at an amphitheater in the park based on fairy tales. This is a time of change in Roeding Park. In the last year the park has been working hard to raise attendance and remind people of their mission.[3] Further in 2006 a new Executive Director, Barry Falke was hired. Storyland & Playland are both 501(c)(3) organizations.

The Chaffee Zoo recently received a big break with the passing of Measure Z, which added a tenth of a cent city sales tax benefiting the zoo. Along with the tax, the zoo has changed from being city operated to being run by a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The land, exhibits and animals themselves are still owned by the City of Fresno but leased to the Fresno's Chaffee Zoo Corp.[4] The tax allowed for the hiring of Donna Fernandes from the Buffalo Zoo as the new director in 2005, but she left after only 3 months to return to her previous job.[5] Lewis Greene,[6] from the Virginia Zoo, was then hired as director in 2006 and secured an extension of AZA [7] accreditation.[8] Major changes and improvements at the zoo are in store in the upcoming years although the descendants of the original Roeding family are threatening a lawsuit[5] if the zoo attempts to expand further into the park donated to the city by their ancestors for the purpose of a "public park."

Historical significance

In July 2009, Page & Turnbull inventoried and evaluated Roeding Park as a historic district as part of the Roeding Park and Fresno Chaffee Zoo Facility Master Plans Draft Environmental Impact Report.[9] Accordingly, Roeding Park is identified as meeting National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) Criteria A and C and California Register of Historical Resources (CRHR) Criteria 1 and 3 in the areas of Entertainment/Recreation, Community Planning & Development, and Landscape Architecture. The district contains 25 contributing resources and the period of significance was 1903-1953. A qualified Architectural Historian meeting the Secretary of Interior Professional Qualification Standards conducted the 2009 Roeding Park survey. [10][11]

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External links

Coordinates: 36°45?13.95?N 119°49?20.36?W / 36.7538750°N 119.8223222°W / 36.7538750; -119.8223222


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