Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 2:48 pm | A Few Clouds 71º


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Santa Barbara County Finishes Arroyo Burro Beach Park Boardwalk Project

Recycled beach walkway replaces dirt path guiding visitors to the shore from parking areas


The new boardwalk at Santa Barbara County's Arroyo Burro Beach Park has opened, which replaced a dirt path along the popular destination's parking lot with a 2,100-foot walkway built of recycled wood. 

The four-year project provides visitors with an elevated ocean view stroll from the parking lot to the beach.

Another project amenity is new pathway lighting, which will be safer for visitors leaving the Boathouse at Hendry's Beach at night.

“This is a safer path,” said Jill Van Wie, county parks capital projects manager. “We wanted to make it easier to walk down, more stable and easier to clean.”

The boardwalk was designed by landscape architect Guillermo González, of Santa Barbara firm Van Atta Associates, and construction was completed by the Thousand Oaks-based firm Ardalan Construction Company.

In addition to the boardwalk itself, the landscaping was restored with drought-tolerant, native plants and better site drainage. 

Project funding for the $567,000 project came from development impact fees and utility savings, according to the county.

Arroyo Burro Creek extends to the ocean at the county beach and the project provided an opportunity to inform visitors about creek cleanliness, Van Wie said.

“There will be some signs (going up soon) that provide the history about the creek and how to maintain it,” she said.

The idea for the project started with County Parks Rangers Aaron Cook and Brian Switzer, who saw the need to make a wider path for public access and a path that will be easier to upkeep.

Officials from the county and the city of Santa Barbara celebrated the boardwalk's completion on Monday, along with supporters. 

Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf, center, cuts the ribbon on the new boardwalk at Arroyo Burro Beach Park Monday with Santa Barbara city and county officials. Click to view larger
Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf, center, cuts the ribbon on the new boardwalk at Arroyo Burro Beach Park Monday with Santa Barbara city and county officials. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

“In this county, we can pull together resources and members of the community who care about our place,” Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf said. “We get things done so beautifully.”

Beneath gray skies, Wolf said she was happy to see the project completed.

“There’s something special about being in this place,” Wolf said. “This is an entry way to our beautiful beach.”

She expressed her appreciation to project designers and park rangers.

“They do an incredible job,” Wolf said.

Arroyo Burro Beach Park hosts more than 1.3 million visitors annually and provides multiple features, including a Watershed Resource Center, a restaurant, recreational park area, dog wash, walking trails that lead into the adjacent Douglas Family Preserve, coastal access and free parking. 

“Parks in the second district are important to this community,” Wolf said. “It’s what makes us special and brings people together. This walkway is a symbol of that and what we care about in this community.”

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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