A Brighter Sunset

There is no trace of the pool that used to be on Sunset Park’s west side. Built in 1972, it had fallen into disrepair and became too expensive to maintain, sitting empty and unused since 2009.

In its place, though, are a new shaded picnic area, a refurbished playground and fresh landscaping, part of $11.7 million in renovations throughout the 325-acre regional park that have taken nearly two years to complete and are ready for their official unveiling May 4.

The new amenities also include a tree-house-themed playground on the park’s east side, as well as a water splash pad to replace the pool as a cool-off spot. The trails that meander around Sunset Lake have been upgraded, and remote-control-boat enthusiasts will find a remodeled dock. Roadways, restrooms and parking have also been improved. In another bit of good news, the popular Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival—which bivouacked in Silver Bowl Park for two years during renovations—is ready to return to Sunset.

Sunset Park’s roots go back to the Miller Ranch in 1909; the land became a park in 1967 and evolved into one of the county’s most popular public spaces. The upgrades acknowledge the park’s history by restoring its 1930s ranch house, where visitors can now rent bicycles and sporting goods such as fishing poles and disc-golf equipment.

But if you’re already missing that old pool, never fear: A new pool and recreation center are part of the next phase of improvements. That’s still a few years away, but this park’s got a track record of finishing what it starts.

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