Desert-adapted planting will echo the local landscape

Somos Oasis

Community engagement using a purpose-built "mobile research beacon"

Render of the adventure-style playground

Guerilla-style messaging to engage the community

Render of the children's water play area

Community design workshop

Community building model

Render of the therapeutic garden

Desert-adapted planting will echo the local landscape

Somos Oasis

Somos Oasis

KDI is partnering with Desert Recreation District and Oasis residents to design a 14-acre Productive Public Space - the second in our Eastern Coachella Valley network. Slated for completion in 2020, the park combines exercise and recreational amenities with carefully designed planting and green infrastructure, and will be activated with resident-led programs.

Context

Original conditions at the site

Oasis is a rural farmworker community in the Eastern Coachella Valley.

Many of its inhabitants live in poverty, without access to basic services. With no defining spaces to act as centers of activity within the community, Oasis residents are unable to gather and recreate - and are nearly invisible to outside decisionmakers.

Process

Learning about existing neighborhood conditions

Design kicked off with the recruitment of a youth Street Team, who repurposed an agricultural shade structure to create a mobile research beacon for community engagement.

Both the community’s needs and narratives were woven into the park’s design through a series of workshops. A Leadership Committee was established and trained to co-manage and maintain the completed park in partnership with Desert Recreation District.

Solution

Market and picnic space adjacent to soccer field

The space will include two soccer fields, a marketplace, a community center, a nature playground, and a garden.

Desert-adapted and native planting, inspired by the surrounding landscape, will promote discovery and exploration. Resident-led activities based there will include food collective Antojitos Mexicanos Oasis, a childcare collective, and a disaster response program run by the Leadership Committee.

Impact

A recent community event organized by the Leadership Committee on the future park site

The new public space will bring much-needed amenities for recreation, socialization and exercise to residents, enable new opportunities for income-generation, and serve as a catalytic space to anchor the community.

The process of co-designing and programming the park has already built local organizing and leadership capacity, with members of the Leadership Committee and Antojitos Mexicanos Oasis collective beginning to advocate on behalf of broader community needs and lead local change independently of the project.