Rendering of the Ortega Park restrooms. Courtesy of the city of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California, revitalizing iconic Ortega Park

October 24, 2023

A cultural and social hub for Santa Barbara’s Eastside neighborhood will be revamped through a $20 million revitalization project. Currently in the design phase, the improved Ortega Park will include new facilities and spaces for public art, recreation and community gatherings.  

A multi-sport field will be installed for year-round recreational activities. The design features artificial turf, dedicated sideline space for players and spectators, sport lighting and decorative fencing.  

A corner of Ortega Park will be dedicated to a park for skateboards, scooters and rollerblades. This includes a viewing plaza for spectators, a new entrance, smooth concrete surfaces, low walls and hardy plants for noise mitigation. An improved aquatics center will feature three distinct zones:  

  • A zero-depth wet play and wading entry area with interactive water play features. This section offers ADA-compliant pool access and dedicated safe space for small children.
  • A 25-yard, 6-lane lap pool.
  • Two waterslides.

There will be a new community plaza dedicated to supporting large gatherings at the park, including play structures and a shaded picnic area. To align with the city’s climate change initiatives, plans call for increased drought tolerance and stormwater management, including planters, bioswales and runoff channels.  

New parking areas will provide better access to nearby streets. The surrounding parking area will incorporate permeable pavers for stormwater management. Project construction is scheduled for May 2024. 

Government Market News Staff

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