‘THIS IS YOUR PARK’
Hundreds gathered under the bright Saturday morning sun in Old Town Goleta to celebrate the opening of Jonny D. Wallis Neighborhood Park and enjoy all that it had to offer.
Prior to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m., local parents watched their children make heavy use of the park’s jungle gym, skatepark and courts for pickleball, basketball and bocce ball.
Vyto Adomaitis, director of city neighborhood services and public safety, told the News-Press that it was “a great day for Goleta.”
“It’s a wonderful park with lots of amenities for all age groups. It’s just great to see all the people out here enjoying the park from little kids to adults,” he said.
The variety of amenities was a big hit with Goleta resident Kate Vanderwoude. While her son played at some of the child-friendly basketball hoops with colorful backboards, Ms. Vanderwoude told the News-Press that she felt “very spoiled” to have such a beautiful park in her community.
“We live closer to Girsh … but this has a lot more things to play and it looks very exciting. The playground looks way cool,” she said.
Goleta resident Bill Hall lives right next to the park and said his family had been anticipating its opening throughout its construction.
Now that it’s open, Mr. Hall anticipates that he and his kids will go to the park “most days.”
Matt Strong, a skateboarder for 10 years and a new Goleta resident, deemed the new skate park “pretty freaking rad.” The nearest skate park to him before Jonny D. Wallis opened was in Santa Barbara, so the new park will be his regular spot for skateboarding from here on out.
“It’s much easier to get here and do a little shredding than go all the way down to Santa Barbara,” he said.
Several local officials were present for the opening’s ceremonial section. Assemblywoman Monique Limon, D-Santa Barbara, told the attendees that she was “proud that this is a neighborhood park that I can call my neighborhood park.”
She added that it will be a great benefit to the neighborhood and serve as a backyard for those who can’t have their own due to outdoor space limitations.
“This park is the backyard to dozens of kids who will never have a backyard, and is also going to be an outdoor space for everybody else” she said.
Just before cutting the ribbon at 11 a.m., Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said a few words of praise for Jonny D. Wallis, the late co-founder of the city of Goleta.
Perotte called Ms. Wallis an “eloquent spokesperson for Goleta” and said she “laid important groundwork for the park that we have named for her.”
The mayor concluded, “We dedicate this park to our Goleta residents for your enjoyment for many years to come. This is your park, our park, let’s enjoy it together.”