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About Us

West Side Recreation & Park District was established on November 10, 1947 (under the name of West Side County and City Park, Recreation and Parkway District). WSRPD was established to serve approximately 407 square miles on the west side of the County of Kern. Currently, WSRPD serves the following School Districts: Taft City School District, Taft Union High School, Taft Community College, Elk Hills School District, McKittrick School District, and Midway (Fellows) School District.

Parks Make Life Better

An extensive research study asked California citizens and public officials “Why are parks important to you?” The research, sponsored by the California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS), a nonprofit, professional and public interest organization with more than 4,000 members, was used to develop the first-ever brand of the profession. “Parks Make Life Better!” is now being launched by CPRS members statewide, including West Side Recreation & Park District.



"The purpose of the West Side Recreation & Park District is to provide a well-rounded, wholesome program of leisure time activities for people residing in the District as well as to help provide a positive economic impact throughout the community in which we serve.  This may be accomplished by acquisition and development of park and recreation center areas, the development of supervised programs, construction and management of recreation facilities, and cooperative efforts with other agencies in the areas in which they provide services that positively impact the community." 

Positive Spaces

Free-time fun
Neighborhood parks are an escape, a place to run around and play.

Gathering Places

Socializing and learning
Parks are like holidays, bringing us together to share good times. They are the common ground that connects us.


Valued today and always
Parks enrich our lives. They add value to our homes and neighborhoods. Individually and as a community, we'll always have that need.

Why are Parks Important to You?

Overwhelmingly, survey respondents value parks and recreation as an essential community service. Virtually every California household (98%) reported visiting a park during the past year. Forty-two percent visited a park at least several days a week; 26% visited at least once a week, and 68% visited at least monthly. Of these, 55% go with spouse or partner, 53% with kids, 48% with family, 46% with a friend. Only 5% of the users indicated they go alone.

CPRS used the research findings to develop the first-ever brand promise and brand identity for parks and recreation. The brand promise incorporates the benefits Californians reported as most important; the many ways parks and recreation make their lives and communities better.

Specifically, parks and recreation make life better now and in the future by providing:

  • Access to the serenity and inspiration of nature
  • Outdoor space to play and exercise
  • Facilities for self-directed and organized recreation
  • Positive alternatives for youth which help lower crime and mischief
  • Activities that facilitate social connections, human development, therapy, the arts and lifelong learning

How Parks Make Life Better

We held a Summer Facebook Contest. To enter, we asked individuals to tell us how parks make (their) life better. Here are a few of the testimonials.


A lot of times my mom and dad don’t have the money to take me to someplace special like Disneyland or some place like that so they say, “Let’s go to the park today!” They think I don’t know why they’re doing it and I don’t tell them because, really, I like going to the park. When we’re at the park, my parents see just me. I mean, it’s great to go to Magic Mountain. We went there once but we were so busy standing in line and trying to get to the next ride – I felt invisible. When we go to the park, I get all their attention. I ride my bike down the paths and they cheer when I make it all the way without wobbling. My dad pushes me on the swing. He doesn’t know that I can pump my legs but I don’t tell him because I like him to push me. My mom gets scared when I go up high on the playground equipment but I think it’s funny so I keep doing it. Later we cook hot dogs and drink cokes. I can’t believe how much better they taste when we cook them there. I guess I would like my family to be rich someday but I’m afraid if we are that my parents won’t remember how much fun we have at the park. They might think I would have a lot more fun if they took me to Disneyland, Magic Mountain or even someplace farther away. I guess I would like to go to those places too as long as they keep taking me to the park.

From a Park lover

Parks make my life better because it gives my children a safe place to play. Playing at the park gives my children an area open to run, exercise, and meet new friends. Sometimes lifelong playmates can be made by meeting at the park. On a nice day we as a family can call our friends and cousins and have a picnic and play date at the park. Having celebrations at the park has been something I have personally enjoyed since I was a child. I had several birthday parties at "A" street and "Cop" park. Many years later my children have had the pleasure to go to birthday parties at several of the wonderful parks in Taft. I love going to parks even as a mother and a wife there is something still exciting about taking my kids to the park I often find my self racing to the top of the slide and going down as fast as I can.

A Safe Place to Play

Games of tag and hide and seek
Birthday parties, hunting eggs
Football practice and soccer too
There are always lots of things to do.
Parks are the best place to run and play,
Fun with friends on a sunny day.
Lay on the grass and watch the clouds
as they form into different shapes.
See the elephant, there's a boat
now sit back and watch them float.
Without parks life would be sad
Taft has some great ones and I am glad.

A Poem for Parks