Lookout Park’s East End Renovation Is Almost Done

One of the nice things about being new to this beat is that I discover long-in-the-works projects right as they’re nearing completion. Take Lookout Park in Summerland: I had no idea the park was being refreshed, nor that it would be getting these driftwood-topped pergolas.

First, some background via the park’s website and Jill Van Wie, capital division manager of the county’s Parks Department. Lookout Park came about in the late 19th century, when H. L. Williams donated nearly two acres of beachfront property, once the site of an oil-processing facility, to Santa Barbara County. In 1976, the county purchased an additional 1.5 acres. When Lookout Park was first developed, there was a ranger’s residence and maintenance facilities at the east end. In 2013, the residence was removed, and planning began to install public amenities in its place. Those plans were finally completed in 2018.

Van Wie explained the scope of the project: “The renovations include removal of existing auxiliary park sheds, concrete drainage swale and sections of existing asphalt; repaving of the parking lot; installation of decomposed granite trails, natural stone benches, planting and irrigation systems, grassy and permeable paving picnic areas with BBQs, trellises and recreational site amenities such as concrete ping-pong tables and a bocce court. Additional site improvements include relocation of the EV charging station and upgrading the concrete site drainage swale to natural rock percolation to more naturally deter erosion and reduce hardscape.” And there’s a large parking space near the picnic area that can handle a food truck, for booked events and possibly daily use.

The work should be done by early September, although the landscaped areas will have to wait 90 days, so plantings can be established.

Looking ahead, Parks Department superintendent Jeff Lindgren said there are plans to replace the restroom and, eventually, the playground.

Other park projects in the works:
••• Dwight Murphy Field upgrade
••• Ortega Park renovation
••• New Carpinteria skate park
••• Santa Claus Lane improvements


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