NEWMAN - The city will host two virtual workshops this month to receive community input on a new, nature-based park proposed for development on a 78-acre parcel southeast of Newman.

Director of Public Works Kathryn Reyes said that the overall project includes multiple elements relating to the natural environment, including wetlands and vegetation which will serve as natural filters for the city’s storm drain wastewater and ag irrigation tail water.

She said the proposed park, for which the city is seeking grant funds, will tie the project together while providing public access and recreational opportunities.

That is where the public input comes into play, Reyes said, as city officials want to hear feedback on what design and amenities the community would like to see in the park.

The outreach effort is designed to determine “what kind of park is going to fit there that the community will use and appreciate,” she explained. “What would the public want to do out there?”

Consulting firm RRM Design has been brought in to facilitate the outreach effort.

Community outreach is a critical requirement in applying for Proposition 68 funding, Reyes explained.

Initially, she said, the city had hoped to study the feasibility of developing or upgrading park facilities in other areas of the community. But, Reyes explained, upon reviewing potential projects and sites officials determined that parks in other neighborhoods did not meet the rigorous criteria for submitting a competitive grant application.

Those discussions, she commented, led to the determination that the proposed project, known as the Newman Community Conservation Area, represented the city’s best opportunity for grant funding.

Two community workshops will be held to accept public comment. Each will be conducted via Zoom.

The first will be held Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m. The Zoom meeting can be joined via http://bit.ly/3a4J857.

The second meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. The Zoom meeting can be joined via http://bit.ly/36cQnab.