New Park Honors Jim StrengNov 18, 2021 12:00AM ● By Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd
Fair Oaks resident Jim Streng cut the ribbon to officially open the new park named in his honor.
FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - The Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District (FORPD) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 4, to celebrate the opening of Jim Streng Park, located on Swallow Way off of Hazel Ave.
The new park is named for respected Fair Oaks resident Jim Streng. He and his brother Bill started Streng Brothers Homes in the 1950s, constructing thousands of mid-century modern homes throughout the Sacramento Region. Streng homes are characterized by their open floor plans, low-pitched roofs, and bountiful natural lighting. “Today Streng homes remain iconic, and they remain highly prized,” said FORPD Director Ralph Carhart.
In addition to his successful career, Jim Streng also served on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors from 1986 until 1992. And his unwavering dedication to improving the community and working on bipartisan issues earned him respect and admiration from both constituents and colleagues.
“He’s been an advocate and activist for bicycling, sports for persons with disabilities, clean air, anti-smoking, local transportation improvements, the American River Parkway Foundation, and the UC Davis health system,” said Carhart. “Moreover, Jim is highly respected as a kind, honest, and compassionate gentleman. When we built this park, it was clear that naming it for Jim Streng was just the thing to do.”
District 3 County Supervisor Rich Desmond spoke at the ribbon cutting event and acknowledged the challenge of building a new park in such a well-established neighborhood. “This is something so wonderful, something to be proud of,” said Desmond. “What a great place for this neighborhood. And to honor such a wonderful gentleman.”
Supervisor Desmond complimented Streng as a “throwback to an era of a lot more collegiality and decency in politics.” He said naming the new park after Streng is “just wonderful for the community, and it’s so appropriate.”
Jim Streng addressed the crowd at the ceremony: “I thank the Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District for all that they do for Fair Oaks, and I’m extremely honored and pleased to have the name Streng associated with this beautiful park.”
Attendees filled the new park to celebrate Jim Streng and enjoy the new playground, which offers a variety of climbing features and a natural play area. Aho said the District didn’t want to build a typical pocket park in this space, so they “decided to do something a little different.” They worked with students from Meraki High School in Fair Oaks, who conducted a community planning process and came up with a variety of ideas that led to the final design.
“It’s very exciting to open an opportunity for people to play, especially for the kids. And it’s really fun to be able to see the opportunity for all ages to play in a park, and that’s how this park was designed. It really is designed for the kids, but yet for those adults that are a little more adventurous, it still has that element of fun or play,” said District Administrator Mike Aho.
The budget for the park totaled $881,904, with $200,000 coming from Measure J funds, $250,000 from California Prop. 68 funding, and the rest coming from the District’s Park Impact Fees.
John O’Farrell, Chair of the FORPD Board of Directors, said, “It’s amazing how many people came out here today to support the opening of the park and to recognize Jim Streng. … He is truly a gentleman.” O’Farrell also acknowledged the opportunities created by the Measure J bond, which residents approved back in the 2018 election: “Now we are investing in the future of all these little ones that are enjoying the park.”