The city of Goleta recently hosted the Stow Grove Park Master Plan Workshop at La Patera Elementary School.
The workshop on Saturday was an opportunity for people to give input on the project as well as see the data that has been collected so far from the community.
“The event was great, with over 60 people in attendance, nearly doubling the number of residents from the first workshop,” Joanne Plummer, the Goleta parks and recreation manager, told the News-Press. “Workshop attendees received a project update from the project team and participated in activities that helped communicate their desires for specific amenities as well as share opinions of what they like to see or not see in Stow Grove Park.”
The park is near La Patera School, and approximately 10 of the people attending the workshop decided to tour the park with the consultant team, Ms. Plummer said. (The walk was optional because of the weather.)
“City staff and the consultant team presented the four options and various park element options,” Luz Reyes-Martin, a newly elected Goleta City Council member, told the News-Press.
“Attendees had an opportunity to ask questions and then were given color coded stickers to place on the specific park elements that are most wanted and least wanted,” she said.
Ms. Plummer described Stove Grove Park as a historic treasure in Goleta and noted many residents voiced their passion for the park.
“Some residents remember activities taking place long ago,” Ms. Plummer said. “They recalled and shared information about grassroot efforts for improvements, reminisced about programs and shared frustrations with park users that do not follow the rules,” she said. “Many workshop attendees were interested in some of the proposed amenities and/or improvements, while others living near the park have expressed interest to keep the park exactly as it is today.”
Ms. Reyes-Martin noted people expressed diverse opinions about the various elements. “Generally speaking, I heard support for refurbishing existing park elements and concerns about adding too many new elements that could increase noise for surrounding neighbors. I also heard feedback supporting an upgraded playground space that could be universally accessed by children of all abilities.”
Ms. Plummer said a survey is being released this week that will gather opinions from those unable to participate in Saturday’s workshop. She added the survey will be open until midnight Dec. 18. To respond to the survey, go to cityofgoleta.org/stowgrovepark.
“At the close of the survey, the project team will utilize the data from the surveys and the public workshop to create the draft plan(s) to be taken to the final workshop,” said Ms. Plummer.
She said the final workshop will be held in collaboration with the Goleta Parks and Recreation Commission at 6 p.m. Jan. 25 at Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive. “The workshop will be hybrid to allow people to attend in person or participate virtually,” Ms. Plummer said. “The purpose of this workshop is to share the findings from the workshop and survey and demonstrate the adjustments made to create the proposed draft plan(s). The results from the final workshop will be carried forward as a recommendation of a draft plan to the city council.
“Should the city council have further comments to the draft plan, those would be incorporated for the development of a final plan for adoption,” said Ms. Plummer.
She explained the master planning process for Stow Grove Park will conclude when the city council adopts the final plan.
Once the plan has been chosen, the city will decide whether to complete the entire renovation project all at once, or break the project into phases and construct each phase as funding allows, Ms. Plummer said.