By Ken Striplin
Santa Clarita City Manager
Another year has flown by, Santa Clarita. Local businesses are getting back to normal operations, local youth are engaging in competitive sports again, community-favorite events are returning and much more. Despite ongoing challenges, the City is moving full steam ahead in completing the plans and initiatives outlined in the Santa Clarita 2025 Strategic Plan. Under the guidance of the Santa Clarita City Council, we have completed outstanding work throughout 2021, always with the intention of meeting the needs of both residents and businesses in our community.
Perhaps the biggest highlights of 2021 would be our new City facility openings. First, in April 2021, the City opened The Cube – Ice and Entertainment Center. Thanks to Santa Clarita’s passionate residents and supportive City Council, we were able to purchase the former Ice Station, rebrand and revamp the facility and reopen it for public enjoyment. Months later, in October, we officially completed work on the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on Golden Valley Road. The new 46,552 square-foot station comes as a much-needed upgrade for our local sheriff’s deputies, offering the latest technology and resources to enhance public safety in Santa Clarita. At the end of October 2021, we welcomed the brand-new Canyon Country Community Center. The state-of-the-art Community Center features a Grand Room for events, classrooms, a gymnasium, outdoor event space, a playground, public art installations and countless other amenities.
In addition to Santa Clarita’s newest facilities, 2021 also saw a continued pursuit of open space preservation for our community. As our community grows and more individuals and businesses plant roots here, it is crucial to maintain and preserve the open space that adds to the beauty of Santa Clarita. The acquisition of the Gates Family Wildlife Preserve in the Newhall Pass Open Space in July serves as an example of the City’s preservation efforts. Not only does this addition of open space add to the greenbelt surrounding our City, but it also forms a vital portion of the future Crest to Coast Trail, which will run from the Pacific Crest Trail in Agua Dulce to the Ventura County Line, and eventually connect to the Pacific Ocean.
Another thrilling aspect of 2021 was the return of events. It has been wonderful to see countless popular community events returning in full force. Throughout the summer, we saw Concerts in the Park back in action at Central Park. In Old Town Newhall, residents flocked to Main Street for the always entertaining SENSES Block Parties. The Santa Clarita Public Library also hosted fun events like the launch of Trail Tales in Duane R. Harte Park and the Family Literacy Festival. Plus, we saw the return of one of my favorite City events: Light Up Main Street. Witnessing the lighting of the Christmas tree in front of the Old Town Newhall Library alongside City Council, colleagues, friends and loved ones was a highlight of my year.
I am grateful for another successful year for our City. It is due to our resilient residents and businesses, dedicated City Council and hard-working City staff that Santa Clarita continues to receive accolades and award recognition. Have a safe and happy new year, Santa Clarita.
Ken Striplin is Santa Clarita’s City Manager and can be reached at [email protected].