Goleta’s Evergreen Park Playground has been a fixture in the community for more than a decade, since 11-year-old Sarah Breck decided the tennis courts, ball fields, and grassy areas needed a playground for younger children. Despite a tangle of red tape and the previously unprecedented presence of 11-year-olds in local politics, Breck succeeded in getting a children’s playground installed 13 years ago, something that won her The Santa Barbara Independent‘s Local Hero award in 1999.
Still, playgrounds go out of date like any other building, and Evergreen Park was overdue for an update. After a temporary closure and around three weeks of construction, Ed Easton and the Goleta City Council cut the ribbon on the park again, revealing a brand-new, up to date design for the children of El Encanto Heights and the nearby Evergreen Learning Center. The renovations, which include brand new play equipment and a complete foundation and surfacing replacement, cost around $180,000. The money came from multiple sources, including Proposition 40 and Roberti-Z’berg Harris block grants.
Though Sarah Breck is pursuing her dreams as a professional dancer, currently on tour in Argentina, her mother Anne spoke briefly before the park’s ribbon cutting, relaying a message from the park’s original founder. “Don’t ever think that because you are children you cannot make a difference,” Breck said.