A new pocket park will soon be open at the corner of Bath and Ortega streets near Mission Creek on Santa Barbara’s Lower Westside. City planners view such parks not as destination recreation areas for the larger community but as convenient spaces for neighborhood families to use. (Jacob Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Families on Santa Barbara’s Lower Westside will soon have a new pocket park on the corner of Ortega and Bath streets.

The small, 2,562-square-foot park includes a playground and borders Lower Mission Creek. The Santa Barbara Planning Commission on Thursday recommended that the City Council designate the site a neighborhood park.

“This pocket park enhances the value of Lower Mission Creek to local residents and provides a family-friendly space in one of Santa Barbara’s oldest neighborhoods,” Mayor Helene Schneider said.

The park is expected to cost about $250,000, including $10,000 for a tile art mosaic and $30,560 for playground equipment and surfacing.

The park would feature a playground for children 2 to 5 years old, lighting, an iron fence, landscaping and the mosaic tile mural at the entrance to the park.

Crews will plant four trees, 81 plants and shrubs and mulch. The city has opted against planting grass because of the current stage two drought conditions.

From Chase Palm Park to Shoreline Park, Santa Barbara sports dozens of spacious park areas for locals and tourists to enjoy recreation. Increasingly, however, city planners have worked to acquire smaller parcels of land in high-density residential neighborhoods to maximize park space.

The pocket parks are not intended to be tourist- and community-oriented destinations, but rather popular spots in the neighborhoods for families to walk to.

Parks & Recreation Department assistant director Jill Zachary said the park will be open from one hour after after sunrise until an hour after sunset.

The park is currently surrounded by a chain-link fence, but is expected to open later this month.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A key feature of the Lower Westside pocket park is a playground designed for children aged 2 to 5. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

A key feature of the Lower Westside pocket park is a playground designed for children aged 2 to 5. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)
Joshua Molina

Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com.