A nature-themed playground is opening in Stockton this Thursday, complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a reveal of its basketball court mural, city officials said. 

The July 14 celebration will take place at Dentoni Park, located at 1430 Royal Oaks Drive, at 6 p.m. The evening will include guest speakers, basketball games and drills, an open playground and refreshments.

The playground features swings, slides, climbers and a sliding pole. Its design was based on research from early childhood development experts and uses 23 sensory elements.

Artist Jason Tetlak, who created and painted the mural for the basketball court, is known for his artwork in places like Denver, Texas, Las Vegas, Miami and Jacksonville that accentuate public spaces, according to city officials.

“The mural is something that I really wanted to see happen to give this park a special identity and colorful feature, so we worked with the Stockton Arts Commission to engage an artist who created something exciting and reflective of our community,” Councilmember Sol Jobrack said in a news release.

Carlos Villapudua, California state assemblymember, helped secure $250,000 in funding to update the playground equipment, which was decades old, and to use for future park enhancements.

“These huge improvements are worth celebrating,” Jobrack said.

More information about Stockton’s parks can be found online or via phone at 209-937-8827.

Victoria Franco is a reporter based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. She is a Report for America corps member.

Victoria Franco is a Stockton-based reporter covering the diverse news around the Central Valley as part of the Report for America program. As a Stockton native, Franco is proud to cover stories within her community and report a variety of coverage. She is a San Jose State University alumna with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism. In her collegiate years she was Managing Editor for the Spartan Daily. From her time at the Spartan Daily she helped lead her staff to California College Media Awards and a General Excellence first place. Victoria encourages readers to email her story tips and ideas at victoria.franco@baycitynews.com.