SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A spectacular new set of trails are becoming a reality in a rocky, weed filled area of Santa Barbara's Parma Park. Some of them will be especially designed for those who are mobility challenged.
The Parma Park Sustainable Trails Project is coordinated by the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department.
The park already has 4.1 miles of existing trails on the eastern side at the traditional entrance. The new area on the western side will create 2.7 miles of new trails.
A portion of it will be a half-mile reduced-grade loop for those who are using mobility aids to enjoy the park. Overall, Parma Park is 200-acres.
The park was a gift to the City of Santa Barbara by Harold and John A. Agnes and Mary Margaret Ambrose Parma in 1973 as an open space for hiking and equestrian use.
Some of the trails follow in the path of old cattle trails and access points for the former Parma Ranch.
Monique O’Conner, the City’s Open Space Planner, said the current phase of work to create the new trails should be done later this month.
The area is not open to the public until this phase is done.
O’Conner said, "we have the ability to make the trail as narrow or as wide as we would like it and for most of the trail it is about three feet wide ."
To do this it is a combination of mapping technology and boots on the ground.
Sage Trail Alliance is creating the trail. Dave Bennett was working the excavator and said, "we come out and, we do lay down pin flags just so we can see visually where the trail is gonna go. "
For those with mobility concerns, "we're adding about a half mile of reduced grade trails that folks that use mobility aids can have access to," said O'Conner.
There's also a special plateau with wheelchair access towards sweeping views of the park.
"You can see so much of what Santa Barbara has to offer just in this one park," said O'Conner. "You get views of the ocean you see many of our native vegetation communities and you get some nice exercise in as well. It's pretty unique in that we have a lot of different vegetation types out here we have oak woodland, we have riparian corridors, we have grasslands and we have chaparral. "
The first phase of the project will be done later this month. The habitat will then get thousands of native plants this summer as part of the unique project.
Bennett said, " I'm super excited for the new trails here I think they are going to be so much better than the old trails I think people are going to love them."
For more information go to: Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation - Parma Park Trails
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