The Park Officially Opens

In December of 1980, the Godric Foundation pledged $3 million over a 10-year period for the development of what was first called “Founders’ Grove”, as well as other sites in the Park. The soccer fields began to take shape with funding from the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Touhy Foundation. Wells Fargo Bank Foundation made a matching grant to enable the construction of the amphitheater, and “Godric Grove” and the “Wells Fargo Amphitheater” were officially named and opened in March, 1983. The first of many weddings to come took place at Godric Grove in June of 1983.

elings-park-openingIn December of 1983, a donation of $250,000 was received from Mrs. Violet Singleton in memory of her late husband, Fred Singleton. The Singleton Day Camp was opened in June of 1985 and later renamed the Singleton Pavilion.

In September of 1984, Mrs. Winnie Yamada was appointed to serve as the Park’s first Executive Director. Also in September of 1984, the Sam Battistone Foundation donated $100,000 for the construction of the three lower parking lots. In December of 1984, the Exxon Cross Country event, with 140 participants and about 100 spectators, took place as the first public sporting event to be held in the Park!

In January of 1985, ground breaking ceremonies were held for the soccer fields, with principal benefactors being Texaco Foundation, the Tuohy Foundation and the Santa Barbara Foundation.

With what was by now a ground-swell of community enthusiasm behind it, on November 17, 1985, Las Positas Park was officially opened to the public, with Mayor David Shiffman presiding. Siemens Overlook, the Battistone Parking Lots, Texaco Soccer Field, Tuohy and Santa Barbara Foundation Soccer Fields and the Cappello Playground had all been completed and were dedicated as part of the opening ceremonies. What a great day for the community of Santa Barbara!