By Caleb Lunetta
Signal Senior Staff Writer
In what is now the city’s 36th park open to residents, the city of Santa Clarita held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its newest playground and recreation area at Vista Canyon on March 7.
The 11-acre park, named Vista Canyon Park, is located in the new development that bears the park’s name and is a car-optional and “sustainability-focused community” located adjacent to Highway 14 on Lost Canyon Road.
It features a playground with sensory musical elements, three pickleball courts, two tennis courts, a full basketball court, an outdoor picnic gazebo and the Mitchell River House for event reservations.
The Mitchell River House is an homage to the Mitchell Family Adobe, the first home of pioneer Thomas Mitchell and his wife Martha and the first schoolhouse in the Santa Clarita Valley, Mayor Laurene Weste said during the event.
The new structure not only includes space for future events and social gatherings, but also a history of the land that it and the surrounding park are built on.
“Please take the opportunity to learn about the history of this land,” said Weste. “It is part of our lives, it’s part of our children’s future and it’s how we became this great city that we are today.”
During the ceremony, JSB Development President Jim Backer, whose company oversaw the development of the entire Vista Canyon project, said the project builders had five design philosophies that they wanted to hold themselves accountable to.
The park and Mitchell family home construction, Backer said, satisfied two of those core philosophies.
“One was to honor the connection to local history,” said Backer. “The second is to provide innovative community design and I think we’ve done that with the way the park was designed in its final form with all … different types of trails.”
The ceremony concluded with the red-ribbon cutting for the park that included all dignitaries present, as well as a chance for those in attendance to tour the inside of the Mitchell River House.