The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District is experiencing setbacks in several local projects due to both unforeseen weather and financial constraints.
The IVRPD is extending the renovation timeline for Little Acorn Park — originally scheduled for completion by the end of last month — after rain stalled construction. The group also voted down a number of proposals at last week’s meeting after a lack of funding changed development prioritization.
According to IVRPD Board Member Leif Dreizler, a second-year computer science major, the project will make Little Acorn Park more inviting for students and community members.
“We are removing the shed in the middle,” Dreizler said. “[The park is] going to have a new landscaping look, new vegetation and we are changing where the paths go.”
Dreizler said the district will pave a new park path connecting Sabado Tarde Road to Bagel Cafe, relocate the park’s monument for the victims of the 2001 Isla Vista Massacre to a more visible location and set up a bocce ball court while leaving the center of the park an open, grassy area.
The IVRPD received grants from the state to complete the projects. Although rain extended the development beyond its original timeline of just 15 business days, Dreizler said IVRPD will still qualify to receive reimbursement funds from the state.
“We are still on track to receive the California reimbursement,” Dreizler said. “We are slightly behind when we originally wanted to finish, but we still have time to get the reimbursement.”
Among the plans put on hold at last week’s meeting was the reconstruction of Greek Park. Dreizler said it would cost IVRPD about $150,000 to $200,000 to fully beautify the park.
“It is not a park you can do in pieces,” Dreizler said. “It is not really worth it just to resurface the basketball court because it is only going to get flooded again the next time it rains. We do not have enough discretionary funds to allocate to do a good job on the park.”
The county also decided against the district’s plan to create a Disc Golf course on the Camino Corto Open Space because it is not part of the Open Space Master Plan.
UCSB’s Associated Students External Vice President of Local Affairs Cori Lantz, a fourth-year political science major, said the dropped projects are a letdown for residents.
“I think the fact they have so many great ideas is exciting but somewhat frustrating because it invokes a sense of community appreciation but when they do not actually follow through with these projects [it is frustrating].”