South Kern Sol, News Report, Yesenia Aguilar
More than a thousand South Kern residents turned out for the sixth annual Building Healthy Communities South Kern (BHC-SK) celebration this past Saturday.
The event featured a variety of activities, music and access to local resources. It was held at Rexland Acres Park in southeast Bakersfield.
“I feel very satisfied with the turnout,” said Gema Perez, president of Greenfield Walking Group, which helped organize the celebration. “Seeing so many people get connected to resources is amazing.”
Seeing the crowds at Rexland Acres was a far cry from the once rarely park, which today is regularly frequented by community members, many of who attend weekend zumba classes put on by the Greenfield Walking Group.
Perez said the event highlights the goal of BHC-SK, which is to “learn about our community’s needs, and then focus on those needs. It’s powerful to see how we can make change happen in our community when residents come together with organizations, schools, and government agencies.”
In an effort to promote mobility, the coalition closed several streets around the event to allow families the opportunity bike, run or walk in a safe, car-free environment.
Spanish-language station Radio Amigo was among the dozens of local booths handing out information, as well as juicy, red watermelon and grapes. Another booth was giving out free snow cones.
At the Community Trust booth kids waited in line to give a spin on a wheel of fortune and win some candy while adults received information about some of the bank’s options.
Attendees also had the opportunity to see local artists paint a mural at the park featuring images of Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Martin Luther King, Jr.
“It’s great to see events like these … because it gives families an opportunity to get together and learn what programs are going on in the community,” says Adriana Flores.