THIS MAP IS GIVEN TO THE OXNARD JOURNAL Courtesy of EILEEN TRACY
This map is a general concept being introduced by local residents in response to proposals made by the Oxnard Park & Recreation and the College Park Development Commission. The concept attempts to generally meet requirements made by several groups. While no one item is over-represented, an attempt is made to satisfy the requirements of many interested groups. It also attempts to preserve, enhance and use existing facilities.
The Ventura County Museum of History and Arts is proposing the location of their Agricultural Heritage Museum in the Park with related demonstration crops surrounded by walking/jogging/bicycling paths. The Museum would be used by tour groups, school field trips, 4-H clubs and local college and University students. They have funds set aside for this development.
The wetlands would be enhanced with a pedestrian bridge and could qualify for federal "Fish in the City" funding. Accompanying this would be a public pool. A skateboard park, soccer and ball fields complete the highlights of the map.
We are requesting as many individuals and groups who can support the concept to voice their support to Oxnard City Council members, College Park Development Commission members, the City Manager, INCF representatives and/or the Parks and Recreation Department.
Other proposals by the Parks Department would level all existing structures and install a sports complex and skateboard park. The College Park Development Committee has already unanimously voted to level all existing structures. There is strong opposition in the INCF to having an agricultural museum in the park.
Persons who are interested can contact:
Gloria Postel, Chairperson - Michael Henderson, City Liaison and Parks and Recreation Dept. - Barbara Macri-ortic, Adult Soccer
Other concerned special interests from Oxnard College, Dog park, Channel Islands High School, Oxnard College, Golf Course representative
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE OXNARD CITY COUNCIL:
The City of Oxnard faces a singular opportunity in developing land formerly owned by Ventura County, consisting of 75 acres of land in the area known as College Park. Soon, you will be called on to decide how that land will be used. That is your role as the elected representatives of those who live, pay taxes, and vote here.
As you know, there is some controversy about the highest and best use of this land. On one hand are a committee who would have you divert use to one narrow focus: sports. They promise a revenue stream to compensate us for paving over yet more of our history, discarding irreplaceable resources (the 2 of 3 homes). Clearly, they have no sense of history: we don't need to look very far back to note that Oxnard's most recent venture into spectator sports, the Suns semi-pro baseball team, did not prove to be financially viable, even on a much smaller scale!
On the other hand are a broad spectrum of public-spirited Oxnard citizens who propose a multi-use plan that addresses the long-term best interests of ALL in our diverse community:
--soccer for youth,
--swimming pool for families
--natural areas for individual exercise or meditation, and
--a historical / educational attraction (indoor / outdoor agricultural
museum with antique farm machinery and docents) for residents and
tourists, made possible by the generous donation of resources by the
Ventura County Museum of History and Arts..
The long-term advantages of a multi-use plan are multiple. It's a way to:
1. Invest in our youth, our future--not merely their entertainment needs, but their need for exercise, organized sports, and connection to their roots.
2. Demonstrate that we value our connection to the land.
3. Draw newcomers, tourists, and families.
4. Preserve irreplaceable historical resources.
The risks of rubber-stamping the proposal for a sports park are serious:
1. What if we build it but nobody comes? The stakes are high! What evidence do you have that 75 acres of land will not become a financial, historical liability, an empty, unused, graffitti-filled blot on the landscape, evidence of our disregard for all that came before us? Trends show that most Californians value participatory sports, exercise, natural areas for meditation, and recreational / tourist attractions. Will Oxnard mimic Floridians who spent millions of dollars to build an arena, then failed to attract a professional team to fill it with fans? It's easy to paint verbal pictures with fantastic dreams, but where is reliable evidence that Oxnard can make sports self-supporting, let alone provide a revenue stream?
2. How do we explain to newcomers and tourists that we have thrown away our past yet again?
3. What do you say to our children when they ask why their needs were ignored?
This is a key decision, and we do not envy you. Land and structures require maintenance. Where do you find a way to make this gift self-supporting, both now and in the future?
We believe it is your obligation as elected officials to look at the big picture, not those who would characterize an indoor / outdoor agricultural museum as something detestably "educational." Those who remember being "dragged" to dusty museums by their parents in the last century are as out of date as a polyester leisure suit, complete with Nehru jacket. Reliable studies continue to show that history is the number one tourist attraction. This is backed up by evidence from nearby historic tourist attractions, where docents notice that the students of today come during the schoolday for a presentation, then return on the weekend with their parents, just for the fun of it! Heritage Square provides one example of how historic urban architectural preservation and restoration can be combined so a wide variety of people associate history with FUN. But where is our ranch / agricultural history, the source of so much of our area's revenue, and so many jobs?
There's even more at stake. Increasingly, health care professionals are urging us to spend some time in participatory sports and recreation that includes nature, meditation, and exercise including participatory sports.
The proposal put before you by the Parks and Recreation Board may not take any of this into account.
At this critical time, we urge you to consider this an opportunity to invest in all our recreational needs, not support an oversimplistic, unrealistic "quick fix" that ignores the needs of children and families.
Soon, the choice will be yours about how to use this land. One day, it will be the citizens of Oxnard who will face the choice about which candidates will serve as City Council members. Will you work to address ALL the recreational needs of ALL of us? Will you find a way to preserve our historic roots? Or will you vote to do a "knee job" on this community, cutting us off from our historic roots, paving over our past yet again with even more concrete? Citizens are watching! As the Declaration of Independence states, "Governments derive their powers from the consent of governed".
We strongly urge you to adopt a multi-use plan.
Sincerely, -=-Concerned Citizens
COLLEGE PARK ADVISORY COMMITTEE ( C P A C )
Baseball Ray Rangel
Business Community Dale Dean
Dog Park/Passive Rebecca Talentino
Golf Course Otto Kanny
Neighborhood Councils Martin Jones
Oxnard College Mike Gregoryk
Vice President College Services Eloy Oakley
Oxnard High Lou Cunningham Ps
Parks & Recreation Armando Garcia Ph
Swimming Pool Jeff S. Conrad P
Youth and Adult Barbara Macri-Ortiz PY
Youth and Adult Ralph "Skip" Sanchez