At the busy intersection of Anapamu and Milpas streets, on the perimeter of the Santa Barbara Bowl, is a small plot of land historically named “Cove Mound,” probably because lower eastside Santa Barbara was once a tidal lagoon. It is scheduled for development with 13 rental apartments.

From its site you can see down Milpas Street to the ocean and Channel Islands. It is a perfect place for a small, natural neighborhood park. This neighborhood does not have a park and needs one.

This site backs up to undeveloped slopes of the bowl and is a busy wildlife corridor for raccoons, deer, possums, and more, who wander back and forth in their territory. It is bordered on each side by creek beds, which come alive during rain storms. There are several large native oaks and other plants that help absorb the sounds of traffic and concerts at the bowl.

It is rare to today to find an open space in Santa Barbara, even though we call ourselves a “green” community. We should work to preserve what is left of our open land and green spaces—hills, coves, and fields. Mother Earth needs breathing space, and so do we humans. We must reverse the past trend to cover every bit of the earth with buildings, concrete, and asphalt. Our health and psyches depend on it. —Rev. Carole Ann Cole


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