By Ellen Zoe Golden Photos by: Helen Soto/ADI Tamarindo
On February 13, the long-awaited construction and renovation of the Oneida Park began. According to Leonardo Cascante, Administrative Assistant for Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Tamarindo (ADI), this is “the most important achievement of the last four years by ADI Tamarindo in efforts to make a better and stronger community.
” Over these past few years, ADI put in many hours of work with countless meetings with all the ranks of Costa Rican government in order to meet all of the requirements to obtain financial assistance that would make this new park a reality.
The plan, called “Renovation of Oneida Park” was finally approved by a branch of the Costa Rican government late last year, and financing had been allocated to construct a park for kids in one of the last public spaces in Tamarindo.
History of the Project The journey to this day began over three years ago, when several locals took an interest in improving this area. They brought ADI a proposal and the organization subsequently presented the plan to the Ministry of House and Human Settlements (MIVAH).
Financing for it was denied, however, when “Tamarindo was considered a non-priority area or one that is not at social risk,” Cascante recalled.
With Sonia Fuentes taking the helm of this effort as the Head and Coordinator of Project Management, a multidisciplinary team of professionals and townspeople volunteered their time in order to move the project forward in an alternative direction.
“For the second attempt, the proposal was presented to Dirección Nacional de Desarrollo de la Comunidad (DINADECO) and after many ups and downs, setbacks, requirements and hours of work, we see today that this great effort is crowned with the funding of 125 million colones from this institution. In this way, renovation will create a park that Tamarindo deserves,” he said.
“This project has great significance not only for its direct benefit to the public infrastructure of Tamarindo, but also because it is the first time that a community organization’s work has obtained such high funding from a state institution in our community. In addition to this, it is also worth noting that this is the project that obtained the highest amount of funding from DINADECO at the national level, and the final grade that was granted upon passing the first preapproval filter was 96 out of 100 points, which filled us with pride and happiness.”
Start of work Even with the 125 million colones, the full plan needed more money to be implemented. Local businessmen and women donated the balance of the budget, bringing the total up to over 157 million colones. These donations came from: Ten North Hotel, Capitán Suizo Hotel, Sharkys, Dennis Herzog, Debi Strong, The Coast Hotel, and 5D Architectural Studio.
After legal and procedural details were hammered out, the construction began. For reference, the documents of approval include: CNDC-116-2018 from DINADECO dated February 26, 2018 for pre-approval and CNDC-686- 2018 of DINADECO dated October 24, 2018 for approval.
The construction for Oneida Park is being handled by Liberia company, López & López. ADI chose them due to their location in Guanacaste, and the fact that they hire local workers for their contracts.
They also have experience building skate parks, a key component of the Tamarindo park, having built one in Santa Cruz and one in Jacó. 5D Architectural Studio designed the plan for the renovation—specifically architect Mauricio Salas, who is now the Technical Director of the construction.
Highlights of the new park include a bigger skate park with the current bowl remaining with a “street” section added for another type of surface to practice the sport; new basketball court; and an interactive playground for children.
“The park will be amazing,” said Cascante. “Besides all this, the whole place will have seats, three water fountains so people can drink, paintings, new plants. We pretty much kept all the trees.”
For safety reasons, Oneida Park will be closed during the construction period and night security is there at at the site.
ADI says the movement of material, cars and machinery will be done in the tree zone next to the park, so as not to disturb the neighbors or create chaos in the traffic on Super Compro’s street.
ADI wishes to make important acknowledgement to the entire Santa Cruz Municipality, its Municipal Council and Mayor María Rosa López, all of whom maintained a long-standing belief in the Oneida Park project which garnered this result that will benefit all of Tamarindo and, as Cascante sees it, the entire canton of Santa Cruz.
In addition, the National Directorate of Community Development was instrumental in the drive to make the plan happen.
“This is not the conclusion of this project,” Cascante reminded.
“The construction stage is one aspect, and after comes the maintenance of the space. That fact, and also taking into account that there are many more projects that are going to be of great benefit for Tamarindo, we urge you to approach our organization and find out how you can support and boost our work.”