Tuesday, May 09, 2006

IV CC - Phase 1

Background on Phase I – Development of Outdoor Recreational Facilities

In 2005, the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) submitted a proposal to the California Department of Parks and Recreation that resulted in a $1 million award to construct a regulation size soccer field in Isla Vista’s Estero Park. This million dollars—the largest award granted in the state—gives project partners (which include IVRPD, UCSB, and the Channel Islands YMCA) significant leverage to pursue construction not only of the soccer field, but also of the skate board park, basketball courts, parking lot, and public restroom that will provide Isla Vista with a brand new, state-of-the-art outdoor recreational complex. We are extremely excited about this project, as it has the power to transform Isla Vista in a number of respects.

· The regulation-size soccer field will enable youth from Isla Vista’s large low-income and Spanish-speaking community to play league soccer (which they currently cannot do, because they lack transportation to fields outside of IV). The field also would bring league teams from Goleta and Santa Barbara into IV where they not only would play in soccer matches, but also would add to the IV economy by patronizing local restaurants and other businesses after the games.

· The skate park, which would reflect IV’s long association with and conduciveness to board sports, would serve teens from IV and surrounding areas while attracting large numbers of UCSB students. Having the skate park and soccer field in the same Estero Park complex would bring two diverse segments of the IV community (Latino youth and UCSB students) together to recreate.

· The lighted, outdoor basketball courts would be available for after school, evening, weekend, and even late night use, thereby providing safe and healthy activities for teens and young adults. The availability of recreational facilities could help combat some of the ills from which IV suffers, including gang activity among disenfranchised youth and alcohol abuse among college students.

By bundling the soccer field, skate park, and basketball courts together, we can pursue only one planning and permitting process (rather than three) along with one fundraising campaign. The significant seed money from the state, combined with additional funding from IVRPD, the county, local foundations, and other local sources, gives us a great start toward realizing this important project. For further information about project funding, please contact Laurie Hoyle at Laurie.Hoyle@sa.ucsb.edu.

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