City receives trio of public works awards 

The West Creek Inclusive Play Area has earned recognition for its inclusive elements throughout the park. Photo courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.
The West Creek Inclusive Play Area has earned recognition for its inclusive elements throughout the park. Photo courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.

News release 

The American Public Works Association’s Southern California Chapter once again recognized the city of Santa Clarita for its accomplishments, honoring the city with three public works awards for 2023.  

The city received the organization’s B.E.S.T. (Building Excellence, Shaping Tomorrow) awards for the West Creek Inclusive Play Area, the Vista Canyon Multi-Modal Center and the Trash Excluder Program, Phase II.  

The West Creek Inclusive Play Area received recognition for its inclusive elements throughout the park.  

“With aspects that are unparalleled in Southern California, our West Creek Park is the first to have a Bankshot basketball challenge course for participants of all abilities, a fitness area tailored for both the disabled and elderly community and a large inclusive playground with a dual-track zipline and wheelchair-accessible carousel and swing set,” said a news release from the city. 

Additionally, the park features a roller slide, sensory-friendly play equipment and a communication sign board for non-verbal individuals. The park amenities combined with the play equipment allow children to further develop their physical, cognitive, sensory, emotional and social skills in a fun, safe and engaging way, the release said. 

In October 2023, the city opened the Vista Canyon Multi-Modal Center in Canyon Country, marking the fourth Metrolink station located in the city.  

“Created with the community in mind, the design of the Vista Canyon Multi-Modal Center ensures safety and convenience for both pedestrians and commuters. The state-of-the-art infrastructure includes a brand-new railroad track, benches, canopies, lighting and a security system,” the release said. “To bridge history, art and community together, the Vista Canyon Multi-Modal Center also features a brand-new permanent art piece titled, ‘Union at the End of the Tunnel.’” 

Inspired by the joining of the Southern Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad tracks by a golden spike in 1876, the art piece highlights the contributions made by the Chinese laborers who were recruited to work on the tunnel connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles. 

One way the city supports the goal of clean water is through the successful and cost-effective Trash Excluder Program, the release said.  

“Home to a portion of the Santa Clara River, this project helps to protect the groundwater that provides half of the city’s drinking water supply,” the release said. 

Trash excluder units prevent litter and debris from entering the storm drain system, while allowing stormwater to pass through. The program identifies and addresses high trash-generating land uses in multi-family residential, industrial, commercial and public transportation locations. The Trash Excluder Program is in the second year of a 10-year effort to install trash capture devices on 1,242 catch basins throughout Santa Clarita.  

During Phase II, the city installed 120 trash excluder units to directly support city and state trash policy goals, protect natural resources and improve water quality. 

The APWA is a nonprofit, professional association of public works agencies, private companies and individuals working to promote professional excellence and public awareness of public works through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge, according to the city release. The organization’s Southern California Chapter includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  

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