By Ken Striplin, City Manager
Recreational opportunities abound in the City of Santa Clarita. From afternoons spent cooling off at the Aquatic Center to playing a friendly game of softball at Central Park, you will find residents enjoying time with family and friends at our parks every day of the week. These opportunities are important for maintaining the high quality of life we enjoy in Santa Clarita, which is why the City Council joined other municipalities throughout the country in proclaiming July 2019 as Parks and Recreation Month.
With 34 parks scattered throughout Santa Clarita, residents are never far away from a place where they can go to get active or simply relax. In 2019 alone, the City has invested time and resources into maintaining and updating a number of our parks.
Earlier this year, City staff completed the resurfacing of the sports court at Old Orchard Park, which included replacing the 4,300-square-foot outdoor basketball court. One of the themes of the Santa Clarita 2020 Plan is Sustaining Public Infrastructure, and projects like this help the City achieve its goal.
City staff recently completed the construction of a new play area, shade structure and restroom facility at Copper Hill Park. This specific location was originally built as a grass recreation area by Los Angeles County, prior to being annexed into the City. The park master plan was originally proposed to homeowners by the original developer and we are happy to be able to make these promised amenities a reality.
I am also excited to report that a hot summer day doesn’t have to mean skipping an afternoon of fun at the park. We have installed new shade structures at a number of parks including Oak Springs Park, Pamplico Park and Santa Clarita Park, with others in the planning stages. These vital structures ensure that our children can use the playground equipment comfortably and be protected from the sun.
A new project in the works is the addition of an Inclusive Play Area at Canyon Country Park. This play area, which will be the first of its kind in Santa Clarita when it opens to the public later this year, will create an enjoyable environment that provides for physical and social inclusion for people of all ages and abilities.
Earlier in 2019, the City held a pair of public meetings to gain feedback from residents about proposed features. I am proud to say a number of these suggestions have been incorporated into the design of the Inclusive Play Area as it nears the construction phase.
The parks in Santa Clarita are beautiful spaces to be active, for children to let their imagination run wild and for the community to come together, relax and connect with friends and loved ones. Please take time this week to visit your local park to enjoy all it has to offer — and be on the lookout for news about more upgrades in the future.
Ken Striplin can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.