Despite being situated on the cusp of campus, Pardall Gardens Park – a neglected-looking patch of concrete dotted with flowers, that sits directly next to Eclectic I.V. – is not often frequented by Isla Vista residents.
With this in mind, the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District and Eclectic I.V. have discussed alternatives for the park. Eclectic I.V., which borders Pardall Gardens Park, has proposed that the IVRPD turn the open space into a more activity-friendly park. Plans include the addition of two bocce ball courts, two regulation-sized horseshoe pits and increased seating.
IVRPD Board of Directors Chairman Ken Warfield said that the space needs revamping.
“Right now, it is underutilized and ignored,” Warfield said. “It looks like a vacant lot. Our vision is to have a joint agreement between the owner [of Eclectic I.V.] and the park district to improve Pardall to the point where it can give value to both the business and the public.”
Supporters of the idea hope that the new additions would help put the park back on the map. Second-year linguistics major Kelly Feeney, a resident of Pardall Road, also said the park is often neglected.
“I didn’t even really know it was a park,” Feeney said. “Most people just walk right by.”
Since IVRPD will not finance the project directly, CT Brandt, the owner of Eclectic I.V., is working with his landlord Paul Orfalea – also known as the founder of Kinko’s – to secure funding for a park makeover.
“It’s in the fledging stages,” Brandt said. “There are still things that need to be hashed out, but we’d like to see the park be a benefit to the community.”
Eclectic I.V. plans loan out the equipment for the proposed courts and allow their customers to utilize the park benches. Currently there is only one bench in the park.
According to the IVRPD General Manager’s staff report, the plan also calls for “an Australian-style sun sail … over the raised benched seating area” and a drainage system to prevent flooding.
In previous years, the Pardall Gardens contained a volleyball court, but it later fell into disrepair. However, Warfield remains optimistic about the project.
“Now there’s an incentive to make this work,” Warfield said. “This could be a boost to I.V. businesses. We’re hoping that this will be a model for how to share the uses of a park between businesses and the public.”
The improvements at Pardall Gardens are just a small part of a larger effort to revamp the look of Isla Vista’s parks. Also under consideration by the IVRPD currently is the removal of a small footbridge in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park that was closed due to safety concerns.