If you blink, you might miss something new happening in Isla Vista. There are quite a few projects in the works, many of them spearheaded by the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD).
One of the first things you should take a look at is the IVRPD’s new and improved Web site. While the IVRPD’s always had a Web site with some news and information, they are now moving toward a more comprehensive and information-packed site. You can now click on links to budget documents, ordinance information, and projects, such as the new skate park. “There will be even more information in the future,” said Jeff Lindgren, IVRPD general manager. Even though the Web site is still in the development stages, it will be a great place to find out about what is happening in I.V.
Lindgren said the Web site was updated over the last couple of weeks with the idea of keeping people better informed. He said that the IVRPD is a government agency, and as such has a responsibility to let everyone know what is happening. “The Web site is probably the best way to do that,” he said. He added, “The people living in this community are technologically savvy.”
If you are into the details, you might enjoy taking a look at this year’s budget, and finding out where your tax money goes. You can find out how much was budgeted in the 2010-11 year for janitorial services, vernal pool signage, ground maintenance, and much more. You can also click on links to ordinances to find out about alcohol, trash, and camping and sleeping regulations.
The IVRPD also uses other methods to reach out to the public using popular technology. The organization has a Facebook page. Lindgren said that in the past the park district has used blogs to keep the community updated on new projects.
One of the hot projects in the works is the Estero Park renovation. Lindgren said work on it will begin at the end of the month. In the future, Estero Park will be home to a new soccer field, a skate park, a brand new bastketball court, and a Frisbee golf course. “That’s pretty exciting,” Lindgren commented. “It’s a place for people to recreate without membership (fees).”
If you would like to see drawings and pictures showing the new skate park, or donate money to the cause, you can go to a section of the IVRPD Web site devoted to this topic. While the skate park met with quite a bit of community opposition in the past, it is now moving toward becoming a reality. With information at their fingertips, community members can keep an eye on developments and give input when they see fit.
Lindgren said the IVRPD is also working on expanding the Disc Golf Course. “We are adding nine new holes, and upgrading the rest,” he said. “The whole course will play differently.” He explained that the course is just one of the ways the IVRPD tries to offer the community free or low-cost recreational options. There are some other hidden gems, like a ping-pong table in the park. The park district also offers low-cost park rentals.
Some of the other projects you may notice include the renovation of the bridge in Anisq’Oyo’ Park, scheduled for completion by the end of February. Another new addition will be a bocce ball court in Little Acorn Park. If you are not familiar with bocce, it is similar to bowls, and played on an asphalt or natural soil court with metal or plastic balls.
With grounds work being done, new signage up, and two big projects not funded by the IVRPD, El Colegio Road Project and West Campus Bluffs Trail Restoration, in the works, there are a lot of changes happening in I.V. While the changes may all seem sudden, many of these projects have been in the works for years, but have just now gotten started. Each of these projects have the potential for making I.V. a little more beautiful and a little more community-friendly.