The Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District met at its office at 961 Embarcadero del Mar last night to discuss improving I.V.’s parks, and adding new centers and activities for its residents.
The recent passage of propositions 12 and 40 – which mainly support cleaner water but also contain provisions for the preservation of parks and their surrounding communities – has granted the IVRPD $518,466. This money will be used to improve older parks and possibly add new, more specialized recreational facilities throughout I.V.
Board members said the most important impending improvements included the addition of lighting and new drinking fountains in Estero Park, which is visited by more children than any other I.V. park. Other planned park renovations include maintenance of overgrown, hazardous trees along Camino Corto and re-landscaping of the Sue–o Orchard.
More controversial ways of spending the grant were also debated, such as constructing a basketball court on Del Playa Drive or a skateboarding park devoted to I.V. residents, to be located at an undetermined location. Board members and several others voiced their opinions on these new, potential projects.
“My concern with the skate park is that it will be costly not only to put in but to maintain as well,” IVRPD board member Pegeen Soutar said.
Several people disagreed and said a skate park would be a worthwhile addition to I.V.’s recreation areas.
“There is a huge population of skaters in Isla Vista,” I.V. resident Josh Jackson said. “If a park is well-built, skaters would pay to skate there.”
Exactly how much the park would cost to build and maintain is uncertain, as is whether additional sources of funding would be available.
“The Tony Hawk Foundation grants $20,000 to $30,000 for the building of new parks,” IVRPD General Manager Derek Johnson said.
Charging skaters to attend would also help with the cost of maintaining such a park, he said.
Several other ideas for spending were discussed in less detail, such as a horseshoe pit and a new sign at an undetermined location explaining the Chumash origins of I.V. These items were voted on and approved. Currently, the board has assigned around $270,000 for specific projects throughout I.V.
Discussion will continue at the next IVRPD meeting.