The city of Goleta will host the first of three planned design workshops this Saturday at the Goleta Valley Community Center to gather public input on the pending development of a new public park.

The two-part event begins at 9 a.m. with a tour of the four-acre parcel of land near the intersection of Hollister and Kellogg. City officials will host a discussion forum afterward with snacks and activities available for children.

Goleta Valley Community Center general manager Rob Locke said nearly 1,000 children live north of Hollister Avenue near the park’s venue in Old Town Goleta. Community organizations such as the Goleta Valley Senior Center, Boys and Girls Club and the Family Service Agency indicated they will attend the workshop, according to Locke.

United Boys and Girls Club Director Joe Roderick said the project will provide local outdoor facilities for older teenage members.

“If you really look at Old Town Goleta, there really isn’t a significantly sized park,” Roderick said. “There are two little parks, but the size and structures that they have are really geared toward very young children; for the older kids, there really isn’t much available for those who want to go out and play soccer or basketball.”

Goleta City Public Information Officer Valerie Kushnerov said the project seeks to incorporate the community’s input into its design.

“We absolutely seek community input in our projects, but this time it is particularly important because it is something that will be used by the community every day,” Kushnerov said.

According to Kushnerov, Goleta recently received a $910,000 grant from the California State Parks Office of Grants and Local Services to help fund construction.

Roderick said the organization hopes the park’s layout will include a soccer field to support the club’s bi-annual soccer leagues currently hosted by La Patera School across Highway 101.

Creating the park from scratch will allow the city to tailor the space to the community’s needs, Kushnerov said.

“This is a wonderfully unique process because we get to build a park from the ground up,” Kushnerov said. “We want to design something that makes sense for the community that will use it.”

Locke said California Proposition 84 mandates municipalities seeking grants for construction projects host a public forum.

“Just hearing the ideas that are out there would give us a broader sense of areas of service that need to be filled in terms of outdoor recreation,” Locke said. “It will be relatively eye-opening in terms of what people would like to see within their city limits.”

Contact the Goleta Valley Community Center at for more information about the park design workshops. Spanish translation will be available at the discussion forum.