A major turf renovation project at Leadbetter Beach Park is set to start Oct. 23. Grassy areas of the park will be closed during the work that is expected to last through early January.

The work is part of an ongoing initiative by the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department to invest in the safety, function and beauty of the city’s public green spaces after use surged during the pandemic and remains at a record high.

An overhead view of Leadbetter Beach Park showing grassy areas, beachfront, parking lot, and mountains in the background.
Upcoming turf renovation will be the first since Leadbetter Beach Park was developed in 1965. Credit: Courtesy photo

The renovation includes regrading the grassy areas to create a safer, more even surface before addressing nutrient deficiencies in the soil and installing new turf. This will be the first turf renovation since the park was developed in 1965.

“This isn’t just landscaping,” said Simon Herera, parks manager. “The community relies on these shared outdoor spaces to gather, relax and play, and this kind of reinvestment ensures people can do those things comfortably and safely.”

All grassy areas of the park, including picnic areas, will be closed, and temporary fencing will remain until the project is complete. Park users will be able to access the beach on either side of the turf area throughout the project.

The turf renovation is funded by the America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which provided state and local governments with funding to invest in programs and services heavily impacted by the pandemic.

The Parks and Recreation Department identified 11 parks to receive ARPA-funded turf renovations based on heavy use, turf condition, and regular funding to maintain the renovation once completed.

Renovations at Alameda Park, Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden, Chase Palm Park, and Mission Historical Park were completed earlier this year.

Parks with sports fields, including Cabrillo Ballfield, Dwight Murphy Field, MacKenzie Park, Ortega Park, and Pershing Park, receive multiple turf renovations annually to maintain safe conditions for athletic use and address the high demand for field space in Santa Barbara.

Visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov/TurfRenovations to learn more.