Our Namesake

In 1999, Virgil Elings saw an opportunity to make a difference…and landed it–literally!

At the time, the Park was in extreme financial need. Elings, like an angel from above, landed his parasail on the Park’s soccer fields to announce his gift of $1.5 million to help sustain the Park. Elings, a former UCSB science professor and co-founder of Digital Instruments, said his attachment to the Park dated back to flying model planes on the land with his son in the 1960s.

In honor of his philanthropy, the park was renamed “Elings Park.” Ongoing donations from the Elings family, now exceeding $3 million, have ensured that generations of Santa Barbarans will continue to enjoy this amazing park.