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The Ambrose Recreation and Park History

The Ambrose Recreation and Park District​​ was formed in 1946 under the Public Resources Code of the State of California, Section 5780. At the time the district was formed it included only one park site, Ambrose Park, located south of Highway 4 off Bailey Road. Since 1946 the park district has acquired and developed three additional parks, Anuta Park on Willow Pass Road at Solano Avenue; and a mini park on Alves Lane. We also acquired and renovated the Ambrose Elementary School which is now the Ambrose Community Center on Willow Pass Road. 

The Ambrose Elementary School, which now serves as the Ambrose Community Center, was built by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District in 1935. It subsequently was closed by the school district at the end of the school year 1973. The Ambrose Recreation and Park District began negotiations with the school district in 1977 to acquire the building for renovation and use as a community center to provide recreational services to the community of Bay Point. There was some discussion of a facility lease agreement, however, the district prevailed in negotiations to purchase the school in April 1978. The park district then applied for and was successful in acquiring both Community Development Block Grant funds through Contra Costa County and Roberti-Zberg Grant funds through the State of California for the purchase and necessary renovations to transform a dilapidated, abandoned building into a beautiful Ambrose Community Center. As well as serving as the district offices, the Community Center currently offers a senior citizen nutrition site with lounge area, Contra Costa County Service Integration Team offices, indoor recreational facilities (The Ambrose Computer Lab, weight room, class rooms, auditorium with stage, etc.), conference room, kitchen, dining room and auditorium available for rental. Outdoor facilities include two baseball fields, 6 basketball courts and mini park. Since 1979 we have happily grown and we now believe we are in need of additional space. 

In November 1979 the park district moved it's offices from Ambrose Park to the newly renovated Ambrose Recreation Center. Since that time this center has served as the hub of the community, serving as the meeting site of various local organizations, the Bay Point Municipal Advisory Council, Bay Point Traffic Advisory Committee, Boy Scouts of America (although none are now meeting here), West Pittsburg Area Foundation, and local 4-H clubs, to name a few. The community center has also been widely used for local public forum meetings by county, state and federal agencies, political representatives and the private sector. 

Recreation and Park Districts

Since 1958, with the inclusion of the general provisions governing Recreation and Park Districts in Public Resource Code section 5600-5780 et seq. (and more particularly Section 5782.2 of said Code), Recreation and Park Districts throughout California have been authorized to organize, promote and conduct public recreation programs and to acquire, construct and operate recreation facilities. 

Local Government Accountability

Recreation and Park Districts provide recreational opportunities as a local government function within a specific boundary. They range in size from small to very large and often cross with other county borders to serve the recreational needs of a community. Recreation And Park Districts provide services at the highest levels of accountability and responsibility to the public. These districts are proud of the high degree of customer satisfaction. There can be no doubt they contribute greatly to their community's quality if life. 

Community Partners

Recreation and park Districts, as local service providers, empowered to participate in a wide variety of community endeavors, frequently engage in partnerships with government units, care groups and private sectors to enhance service delivery to their constituents. Such relationships take the form of mutual aid pacts for emergency response, exercise of joint powers agreement, and personnel resources. Typically, city, county and school districts join with recreation and park district to maximize local government resources to effectively and efficiently meet community needs. 


Public Resources Code Section 5780.2, Governing Body, District Board defined. Recreation and Park District are governed by boards of directors, elected or appointed for fixed terms, and therefore, directly accountable to the public. Boards are subject to the Brown Act and related public governing agencies. Directors are members of the communities they serve. They are continually interacting within the framework of community agencies and activities.Funding 
Funding for Recreation and Park districts comes from the following sources: property taxes (a percentage of the "one percent" property tax); program fees and charges; assessment districts; local, state and federal grants; and foundation donations. As in any form of local government, recreation programs have increased dramatically in recent years, although Recreation and Park Districts have consistently shown the slowest rate of spending growth among local government. Districts are independently audited yearly and are subject to state and public scrutiny (as any form of government). 

Statement of Focus

The mission of a California Recreation and Park District is to provide recreation and park services through planning, organizing and conducting a wide variety of recreation programs and community services for all ages; and to acquire, develop, maintain, protect and interpret parks, landscape areas and recreation trails, as well as the natural and cultural resources, historic resources and open spaces within the district for the well being of all its constituents.