It’s been talked about for years, and in the works for 18 months. But now, with funding finally issued by the federal government, a high, chain-link fence with a lock is soon going to be wrapped around The Cabrillo Ball Field. According to Nancy Rapp, head of the City of Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Department, it will be up in about six months.
More commonly known as Rainbow Park, on Milpas Street across from Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, it’s where loitering and drug use by homeless people have been a source of frustration for Eastside business owners, but also for drug and alcohol counselors, homeless advocates, and the city’s restorative policing officer, who try to keep addicted clients in recovery.
Rapp said the fence will essentially be a continuation of the chain-link fence that’s already there, only it will be higher, and encircle both the bleachers and the bathrooms. When a team has a permit to use the field, city staff will unlock it and make sure everything is in order, Rapp said.
“We don’t like the idea of fencing a ball field,” said Rapp. “We have so many challenges at the ball field, in order to have the field continue to be used the way it’s intended to be, we have to do [this].” She added that other ball fields in the city have fences around them too, including Dwight Murphy field, just blocks away. To read more, see homelessinsb.org