In 2011 the City purchased a 4-acre site near the corner of Hollister and Kellogg Avenues for the purpose of developing an active recreation park there.
Purpose and Need
It has been a desire of the City to increase the amount of active recreation space within Old Town Goleta for many years and is an identified need within the City’s strategic plan. With the purchase of this four acre parcel in 2011, this goal will become a reality.
A final design of the park was brought to City Council in November 2016 incorporating feedback from the Parks and Recreation Commission (May 2015 meeting) and City Council (September 2015 meeting).
Design of the park began in early 2012 when Van Atta Associates Landscape Architects was awarded the design contract by City Council. The park design is based on public input from various workshops and stakeholder meetings. It has evolved to contain a multitude of recreational amenities and landscaping, including a multi-purpose field, basketball court, handball court, concrete ping-pong table, bocce ball court, perimeter walking path, fitness nodes with exercise equipment, picnic areas, splash pad and a skateboard plaza.
Throughout the process, the design had to be redone to comply with water restrictions imposed by Goleta Water District over the past 2-3 years. This resulted in a smaller multi-purpose turf field, conversion of other landscape areas to additional hardscape amenities, and an increase in the size of the skateboard plaza from 3,600 square feet to 5,400 square feet.
The Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council both reviewed the design which included the revised water restrictions in May 2015 and September 2015 respectively. They asked for additional changes which were incorporated into the final design brought back to City Council in November 2016. Those changes included modifications to the bike path, additional protection for the Sister Witness Tree which is located in the southeast corner of the park site, removing thorny shrubs that may impact children playing, enlarging the restrooms and creating storage space for equipment.
Other changes made as a result of comments or direction from the Commission or City Council include a small picnic area that was transformed into an unstructured play area consisting of only the recycled rubber safety surface.
Council also requested a splash pad be included in the design of the park. It has been moved to the central (easterly) play area as an individual feature rather than sharing space with the larger play area on the west side. This gives children more room to run through the water features. Council acknowledged that the splash pad may not be operated under the current restrictions. However they wanted to include it with the expectation that the prohibition on this type of water use will be lifted at some point.
The City recently received a grant of $910,000 from the Proposition 84 funds. In addition, the City received a $10,000 grant from the Davenport Institute for the public engagement process. Additional sources of funding are currently being identified.