Palm Street Park, which was put on the back burner when the recession of the early 1990s socked the Victor Valley, is finally ready for day use activities.


The land for the nearly three-acre park was originally purchased in 1990 when Hesperia Recreation and Park District officials envisioned increased use on Hesperia's west side, near Main Street and the I-15 Freeway.


"It was in anticipation of all that growth westward," said park district general manager Cal Camara, "but then the economy fell flat."


Before deciding to pull the plug on the park's development, the district completed the adjacent Rick Novack Community Center, a facility with a basketball court and rooms for recreation activities classes. The district is eying the construction of a multi-use ball field for baseball and soccer.


"Any addition to the community is always a good thing," said Mayor Thurston "Smitty" Smith, a former park board member who was on hand for Wednesday's ceremony. "We're looking forward to the soccer fields."


Other dignitaries on hand included City Manager Mike Podegracz and members of the Hesperia Chamber Ambassadors.


Palm Street Park features an open grassy area, park benches for picnics, a childrens play area and eye-catching meandering sidewalks that curve through the park.


"It's perfect for children to ride their bikes," Camara said.


The project was performed by Cooley Construction, a Hesperia-based firm that Camara said has worked on several district projects.


"They do a good job for us," he added.


The Hesperia Recreation and Park District has 10 major parks and 14 facilities such as the Novack Center, Percy Bakker Community Center and Epicentre. District officials are hoping to land a multimillion dollar state grant to build other park projects, including a major renovation of Lime Street Park and a new equestrian center at Hesperia Lake Park.