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Parks & Recreation
Alcohol in City Parks
A Permit to consume alcohol may be obtained with a paid picnic area reservation.  Those consuming alcohol must be 21 years of age or older.  There is no fee for an alcohol permit.
Are bicycles permitted in the park
Bike riding is permitted in parks on roads and designated bike paths.
Are bicycles prohibited from sidewalks
Are horses or pony rides allowed in City Parks?
Are there athletic or fitness programs for adults
To see our latest listing of programs and activities visit our website link below or call (559) 713-4365
Can a private property owner prune or remove their own private Valley Oak Tree?
This is the most misunderstood part of the ordinance by Visalia citizens. A private property owner may hire a licensed tree trimming contractor to prune their tree. Prior to the trimming, the property owner (or a tree service) must file an “Intent to Prune” form notifying the City of their intention to trim their valley oak tree. To remove a valley oak tree, a property owner must submit an “Application for Removal” form along with a $25.00 non-refundable fee to the Urban Forestry Division. Once received a City Arborist will inspect the tree within 7-10 business days and either grant or deny a permit. In the oak tree ordinance, there is a provision that allows for the removal of an oak tree of any size if the tree substantially interferes with the economic enjoyment of the property and there is no viable alternative to removal. If granted, the property owner must hire a licensed tree trimming contractor to remove the tree. These procedures are in place to prevent an unlicensed and inexperienced individual from removing a tree and possibly damaging private property or injuring themselves or other workers.
Can I fish at the pond in Plaza Park?
Minors age 16 years and younger are welcome to fish at Plaza Park.  The pond is stocked each May for the annual Fishing Derby.  
Can I have a bounce house or water slide in the park?
Bounce houses, water slides and like equipment are allowed in some parks and are site specific.  Call the Parks and Recreation Department at (559) 713-4365 for details.
Can I have music or a DJ in a City park?
It is unlawful to emit music or noise which exceeds 60 decibles at fifty (50) feet and interferes with other uses in any public park or recreation area.  
Can I set up my own canopy, tables and chairs in a City park?
Yes.  However, you may not drive any vehicles onto the grass.  Always be considerate of other park users.
Can I take my dog into the park (on or off leash)
There are two designated "off-leash" dog areas located in the City of Visalia.  Plaza Park (1800 S. Plaza Drive) and Seven Oaks Park (900 S. Edison Street).  Otherwise, dogs are required to be restrained by leash.
Do I need a park reservation for my picnic, party event?
All areas are subject to reservation, to ensure the availability of an area a reservation is highly recommended.  Areas that are not reserved may be used without a permit on a first come, first served basis. A permit must be obtained for parties and events that will be having alcohol or jump equipment.
Do the picnic areas have electricity?
Some picnic areas have electrical outlets for public convenience.  These outlets are designed strictly for small appliances not requiring more than 12 amps of electricity.
How do I apply to remove or trim a Valley Oak tree?
Contact the City of Visalia Urban Forestry Division at (559) 713-4384.
How do I find out what sports/activities the Recreation Department offers?
The Parks and Recreation Department distributes a catalog of programs and activities three times each year.  This publication is also located on the City of Visalia website at www.ci.visalia.ca.us.  A copy can also be obtained at the Anthony Community Center located at 345 N. Jacob Street or by calling (559) 713-4365.
How do I reserve a park area?
Reservations are accepted on a first come, first serve basis at the Parks and Recreation Department business office located in the Anthony Community Center,  345 N. Jacob Street in Visalia.  Park availability can be checked by calling (559) 713-4365.  Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8am-5pm.
How does the City take care of their own Valley Oak Trees?
The City utilizes a private contractor to trim valley oak trees on a 3-4 year cycle depending on the size and type of tree.  All City park trees are trimmed by a City tree crew.  In 2010, the City trimmed over 10,000 City owned trees, including nearly 1,900 Valley Oak trees.
How many mature Valley Oak trees exist within the City limits?
There are approximately 1,600 mature valley oaks in the City right-of-way. There are an estimated 2,000 trees on private property within the city limits.
How much does it cost to reserve a picnic area?
Reservations are charged on a daily basis (not hourly). Rates can vary according to seating capacity (50-200) of the picnic area.
I want to report drugs in the park
Contact the Visalia Police Department at (559) 734-8116
I want to report gangs in the park
Contact the Visalia Police Department at (559) 734-8116
I want to report too much trash in a park
For concerns regarding Park Maintenance contact the Visalia Parks Department at (559) 713-4384 or email parks@ci.visalia.ca.us
I want to reserve Cutler Park
Cutler Park is owned and operated by the County of Tulare.  Park information may be obtained by calling (559) 733-6291.
I want to reserve Mooney Grove Park
Mooney Grove Park is owned and operated by the County of Tulare.  Park information may be obtained by calling (559) 733-6291.
Is the City of Visalia responsible for pruning Valley Oak trees on private property?
In most cases, the property owner is responsible for the care of Valley Oak trees on their property.  Valley Oak trees in the public right of way are maintained by the City.
Is the City taking steps to reforest or plant new Valley Oak trees that have been lost over the years from urbanization?
Yes. The City of Visalia has been awarded a Tree City USA award for 29 years. To qualify for this award you must plant a certain number of trees each year.  The majority of these trees are Valley Oaks. Over the last 5 years, working with the non-profit Urban Tree Foundation, the City has planted nearly 5,000 new trees on City owned property.
Is there a charge for having a bounce house?
There is no extra charge to place a bounce house in a park.  Bounce houses are allowed in designated areas with a permit.
My neighbor has a Valley Oak tree (or any other tree) that hangs over my property line and I'm afraid it may cause damage to my property (either through root damage or a falling limb). What can I do about it?
This is a civil matter between two private property owners. The best course of action is to talk to your neighbor, inform them of your concerns.  Another tactic is to inform your property insurance carrier of your concerns, many times they can assist.    There are court cases that have determined an adjacent property owner cannot damage or remove a neighbors tree that hangs over onto their property without their permission.  The City Urban Forestry Division does not resolve civil cases between private property owners.
My neighbor's tree hangs over my fence or into my yard and drops leaves.
This is a civil matter between the property owners, the City has no authority.
Please remove graffiti from the park
Call the Graffiti Hotline at (559) 713-4207
Tell me about athletic or fitness programs for children
To see our latest listing of programs and activities visit our website or call (559) 713-4365
Tell me about recreation programs for children
To see our latest listing of programs and activities visit our website or call (559) 713-4365
What are the hours of the water feature at Riverway Sports Park?
Hours:  11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.  weather permitting
What happens if somebody illegally trims or removes a Valley oak tree?
Any violation of the ordinance constitutes a misdemeanor and is punishable by conviction and/or a fine. It could also include the City’s Costs and attorney’s fees in prosecuting the matter in addition to doubling the in-lieu mitigation amount indicated in the Oak Tree Mitigation Policy. The majority of violations reported to the City are reported by watch dog citizens or adjacent neighbors.
What Parks are available for rental?
Reservable picnic areas in Visalia parks include:  Blain, Houk, Plaza, Riverbend, Alejandro Ruiz Jr., Riverway Sports Park and Whitendale Park.
What Seniors Recreation Programs exist
Contact the Visalia Senior Center at (559) 713-4381
What time do the tennis court lights at Plaza Park go on and off?
Lights operate 5:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
What trees are protected in the City?
Only Valley Oak trees (Quercus lobata) with a trunk diameter of two (2) inches or greater are protected.  A permit is required to trim or remove a Valley Oak on private property.  Call the Urban Forestry Division at (559) 713-4384 for information or to apply for a permit.
Where can I swim?
The Parks and Recreation Department offers public swim June through August each year at Redwood High School.  Call (559) 713-4365 for hours of operation and admission cost.
Who (or what company) should I use to prune or remove my Valley Oak Tree?
A licensed and insured tree trimming contractor that uses ANSI A300 Pruning Standards.
Why does it seem so many large Valley Oak Trees are falling down (failing) throughout the City this year?

Opinions for failure of the older heritage Valley Oaks vary; too dry of a year, too wet of a year, or the abundance of acorns that year. All of these reasons are valid, but the reality is older heritage Valley Oaks fail unexpectedly and property damage is a distinct possibility in the warmer months of the year. The prudent thing for private property owners to do is have their Valley Oak tree inspected.

Why does the City have a Valley Oak Ordinance?
Prior to urbanization, valley oaks heavily covered 400 square miles of the Central Valley. Visalia’s City Council first adopted a valley oak ordinance in 1971 in an effort to help preserve valley oaks from urbanization. The ordinance is still in effect with the same intentions to beautify, preserve, and enhance the quality of life and the unique identity of Visalia. Over the years, the Ordinance has been amended several times.
Will the City Arborist provide me with an evaluation of my private Valley Oak tree?
The City’s position is private property owners should contact a private Certified Arborist to evaluate your privately owned tree. Many are listed and identified on the internet or in the phone book.  The City does not provide a tree inspection service for private Valley Oak trees.
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