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Local Woodlake: Constructing a Beautiful Future

WordPress Photo Challenge: Local #blogboost

These beautification projects taking place in the City of Woodlake over the past two years have amazed and thrilled long-time residents. First, the city put in new sidewalks on Valencia, then constructed a round-about.

The Woodlake Plaza is the newest ribbon cutting in town.

Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the Woodlake Plaza
Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the Woodlake Plaza

The Woodlake Plaza sign went up early on Valencia Boulevard, Woodlake’s main downtown street, alerting the town that changes were coming.

Woodlake Valley Cultural Museum opening in February 2016 across from proposed PlazaBy February that building had been razed. Construction began in shortly after that.

April 2016 construction
April 2016 construction

Work on the Plaza began in about April, or at least that was when I started taking pictures to document the work.

April 2016 construction
April 2016 construction

The winter of 2015-2016 was a particularly rainy year, so that slowed progress from time to time both on the round-about and the plaza. By August rain no longer plagued the project.

August 2016 sidewalks are in
August 2016 sidewalks are in place in front of the Plaza

August 2016August 2016

Woodlake event planners can now count on a well-shaded area to host many large community gatherings. Sidewalks and grassy areas are a vast improvement over weeds and puddles which preceded the plaza.

Woodlake Plaza
Woodlake Plaza October 1, 2016, at the ribbon cutting

The last major overhaul of this magnitude was in 1961 when the 1911 Brick Block, just one block away from the current plaza, came down.

Demolition in 1961
Demolition in 1961
Woodlake Plaza entrance on Magnolia
the Woodlake Plaza entrance on Magnolia

Ernie Garcia remembers skating at this location before 1940. Then the Lions built a building which became a community center used by Kiwanis, and the Seniors. In December 2015 the Toys for Joy program held a gift-shopping activity at the Lions Club building where parents could come in and shop for a nominal charge to find gifts for their children ages pre-school through high-school.

Lions Club Building on Magnolia
Lions Club Building on Magnolia in December 2015

The building held many fond memories for those who met there regularly. Kiwanis struggled for a while to find another place as large to host its weekly meetings. But Kiwanians support growth and change and look forward to the new Community Center coming soon.

Lions Club Building on Magnolia
Lions Club Building on Magnolia

From September 23 to 25 Woodlake celebrated its 75 anniversary of being incorporated while the high school celebrated 100 years of existence. The City of Woodlake wanted to have the Plaza project completed by that event but the actual ribbon cutting took place on October 1, 2016.

Woodlake Valley Cultural Museum, opened February 2016
Woodlake Valley Cultural Museum opened February 2016

The plaza looks across to the new Woodlake Museum, which opened in February, and Miller Brown Park. Soon there will be a library next to the plaza making Magnolia Street the one stop location for researching about Woodlake. Next to the museum is a walk-through park with murals depicting the western lifestyle in Woodlake painted on existing buildings.

Woodlake Plaza
Woodlake Plaza

This tiny park provides a walk through to the main street through Woodlake, Valencia Boulevard. New street lights unify the look of the town.

Mural next to Woodlake Plaza
Mural next to Woodlake Plaza

In a town the size of Woodlake, about 7,000 residents, new construction attracts everyone’s attention. The people are so proud to see how these new additions have made the city more attractive. Visitors make positive comments as they stop by on their way to see the giant Sequoias at the National Park.

Rodeo Queen
Rodeo Queen

What’s new in your local area?

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I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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