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New Park Breaks Ground in South Natomas

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NATOMAS -- Golden shovels pierced Thursday the dirt on the corner of San Juan Road and Soda Way in South Natomas.

It's the future site of Oakbrook Park.

Residents are relieved the wait is finally over. Almost a decade ago, the city of Sacramento had plans to start building the much-needed neighborhood park. But back then, the city was hit by hard times.

Natomas was under a building moratorium because of a major flood risk, and the Great Recession meant, developing parks was on the back burner.

For 10 years, the field stood untouched until the city found 1.9 million dollars to finally break ground.

The original plan was to make a sophisticated park, catering to the residents at the time -- young adults looking for a neat workout space.

But times have changed, and so have the residents.

When it time came to redo the master plan, neighbors said they wanted more family friendly amenities.

Those young couples got married, and some of them have kids, and families moved in, and people decided they want to see more of a mix," Sacramento Parks & Recreation Director Chris Conlin said.

Now, there's basketball and volleyball courts, a community garden and multiple playgrounds.

"We're just so happy, that by the next spring, we'll have a nice place to play," mother Sachiko Konatsu said.

The first phase of construction costs $1.4 million, covering the bulk of construction. The entire project should be done by summer 2018.

"We hope that this is going to take the community, make it even stronger, make it even more cohesive, and just be a fun place for people to be," Conlin said.