[Noozhawk’s note: This is the latest in a series of articles on the myriad recreational activities along the Santa Barbara waterfront. Click here for the complete series index.]
Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara there is a long expanse of open space, surrounded by iconic palm trees by the water’s edge, and the activity is left to the imagination of its visitors.
Suffice to say that there are few things there that are programmed. Come watch football or rugby matches, join a drum circle, play with your kids and dogs, go surrey or bike or glide on skates rented from Fun of the wheel along the waterfront path, or Santa Barbara bikes to take away or others. Or, just relax.
“This field in there is not allowed (subject to city permit),” said Rich Hanna, city recreation director. “The only time we allow that is if it’s a special event.
“So this is really the only land in Santa Barbara that you can go to and use and play. You will see rugby, football, Frisbee, and other activities happening at the same time in part of this park.
Chase Palm Park straddles Cabrillo Boulevard from Garden Street east to Calle Cesar Chavez (on the “mountain” side of Cabrillo) and further east to Milpas Street on the waterfront side.
The wonders of the park can be as simple as family time.
Ananda Dalidd, 65, from Goleta, said he enjoys visiting his grandson, Davin Clapinski, who is 5 and a half years old, for soccer training. They set up goal scorers and try to pass the ball around.
“I get the breeze, the ocean – it’s nice,” said Dalidd. “I meet people like you. Here is a win-win.
On Saturday at 9:45 a.m., a lively and diverse group of women gather by the waterfront of Chase Palm Park to dance – for Rwanda, for their community, for exercise and for fun. It is led by Dance of the world for humanity, a non-profit organization founded 11 years ago by Janet Reineck that also offers regular classes at Oak Park, the Schott Center and on Zoom. Click here for more information.
The 75-minute class is offered for a small donation, which goes to aid projects in Rwanda that benefit thousands of people with basic and educational needs.
“We raised $ 50,000 last year for emergency food aid in Rwanda so people don’t starve to death during the COVID lockdown in their country,” Reineck said, adding that the dance was ” sincere and joyful “. … It’s not just an exercise class. He brings people together with care and concern for our own community and the world. “
Classroom music changes daily, encompassing contemporary popular music as well as music from other cultures meant to unite people in thought and spirit. Recently, this has included Afghanistan, Haiti, and the Gulf States, among others.
“We are in a common humanity,” Reineck said. “We are trying to break down the barriers between people and between Santa Barbara and the rest of the world.
Dianna Persson, left, and Amy Cluck punctuate the music during Saturday morning dance class with World Dance for Humanity at Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara. (Photo by Marcia Heller / Noozhawk)
“We love to dance by the water! It gives us the opportunity to connect with people who walk, run and cycle – to share the joy! “
The park has rental facilities available including the Palm Park Beach House ocean side. It is a scenic location available for wedding receptions, business meetings, staff retreats, and family celebrations. On the other side of Cabrillo Boulevard, there is the Carousel House – “Perfect for a party, getaway, wedding or reception,” according to the establishment’s website.
The circular building, set in the middle of a courtyard and gardens, is named after the vintage carousel (aka merry-go-round) it housed from 1999 to 2017. This 1916 carousel with hand-carved horses now resides in a museum in Hood River, Oregon.
When the carousel operators decided not to renew the lease, the city completed some renovations and improvements to the building, Hanna said.
“We use it for private rentals, corporate events,” he said. “If there are special events in the park, they will often use them as part of their special event permit.
The Maison Carrousel, built in 1998, is available for rent. (Photo by Dennis Moran / Noozhawk)
“So if you think of the California Beer and Wine Festival, it might be part of their VIP area, but they use the seat in front. We did fitness classes there during the week.
Chase Palm Park is part of a commitment to preserve waterfront land for public works that dates back decades and involves many city leaders. In 1924, the East Boulevard Improvement Association was organized, under the chairmanship of Frederick Forrest Peabody, according to Stories of individual parks written by Mary Louise Days in 1977.
The group’s goal “was to secure all of the waterfront land from State Street to Salt Pond (now the Bird Refuge) for city park purposes,” Days wrote.
Chase Palm Park also recognizes its namesake founders, Pearl and Harold Chase, with a plaque with their images: “Honoring a sister and brother whose many contributions to the beauty and well-being of Santa Barbara have included the creation of this park. . “