Parks superintendent for Prado Park Bob Fontaine goes over future plans with Margaret McCormick and Nancy Mannon of Upland, who want to see community gardens. (Champion photo by Marianne Napoles)

By Marianne Napoles | Feb 2, 2019 |

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Rock climbing, nature walks, concerts, and big festivals are some of the attractions residents want to see at an expanded Prado Regional Park in Chino.

More than 200 people milled around exhibit maps at the Chino Hills Community Center Wednesday evening after listening to a presentation by planning and landscape architectural firm KTUA, hired by San Bernardino County to design a master plan.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, who represents the fourth district where the park is located, called the park a diamond in the rough.

The 2,000-acre park is east of the 71 Freeway and Euclid Avenue, and south of Pine Avenue to the Riverside County line, all within the city of Chino.

The land where the park is located is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Although Mr. Hagman told the community their input would be incorporated into the master plan document, the county envisions the park as a Southern California destination and revenue generator.

KTUA, hired by the county for $300,000 to design the plan, suggested amphitheater-style entertainment events, sporting events, international competitions for shooting and archery, zip lines, adventure playgrounds, gardens, farmers market, petting zoo, fun on the farm, regional tournaments for soccer and pickleball, water pools, surf wave pools, and lazy rivers consisting of slow-moving shallow pools where residents ride on rafts.


Mr. Hagman expected the park to cost up to $200 million.

He said the county is counting on 370 acres of easements once preserved by Proposition 70 that would be sold or traded, generating up to $150 million.

Prop. 70 was approved by voters in 1988 to preserve agricultural land to retain Chino’s dairy past but the county severed the contract with the former land foundation that was overseeing its preservation 14 years ago and later made plans to sell the land.

Mr. Hagman said state water grants are also available for funding, as well as a variety of different “pots and sources” based on what the design plan comes up with.

He also said street improvements would be necessary, including Pine Avenue being extended from the 71 Freeway east to Euclid Avenue.

As residents placed sticky notes on the maps showing their likes, dislikes and desires, the Champion asked about a dozen people about their wishes.

Ralph Galindo of Chino wrote the word “yes” in capital letters and placed it on the venue showing concerts and festivals.

He would like to see oldies music festivals and big car shows combined with concerts. He also wants fishing to continue.

“I used to ditch school on Fridays to go fishing all day with my friends Leo and Pat,” Mr. Galindo said.

Alwen Jones of Chino placed a sticky note with the word “yes” on open-air theaters and movies in the park.

Margaret McCormick and Nancy Mannon of Upland, who participates in a master gardener volunteer program, would like to see community gardens.

Chino Hills resident Ron Nadeau wants to see nature education on the watershed, illustrating where water comes from and where it goes.

Eldona Reasoner Arns of Chino Hills wants to make sure multipurpose trails at Prado Park connect to the underpass south of Pine Avenue and the Chino Hills State Park.

Scott Sandrik of Chino wants equestrian uses for high-risk youth such as those with mental health issues and those who are bullied.

Michael Koval of Corona wants rock climbing, zip lines, the integration of trails for races, and lighting on trees at night, which he described as “romantic.” 

His wife wanted trees for shade.