Park Mission and History
Girsh Park is a cooperative community effort that is owned and operated by The Foundation for Girsh Park a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. It is our mission to develop, maintain and enhance Lester A. Viola S. Girsh Park to provide all community members with affordable, high quality park and recreational facilities in a safe, attractive and healthy environment.
Girsh Park has served the community’s active recreational needs for over twelve years. The Park was built by Wynmark Company in conjunction with the Camino Real Marketpace construction in 1999. After the County of Santa Barbara respectfully declined the donation offer to own and operate the Park, the Camino Real Park Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) foundation, was created. The original Board of Directors was assembled with several community minded citizens that had extensive experience in recreation, sports, and non-profits. The original twelve acre Park was opened in May of 1999. Shortly after the opening, the Park was renamed The Lester A. and Viola S. Girsh Park, and the Foundation became The Foundation for Girsh Park in honor of the Park’s generous lead benefactors.
In 2005, the Foundation for Girsh Park purchased the 13 acre parcel to the east of the original park by raising over $6 million in the Fields Forever Capital Campaign. The original intention was to create a permanent home for Dos Pueblos Little League. DPLL had previously called the parcel that Costco now sits on their home from 1976-1998. AYSO joined the campaign by making a large donation and in return Girsh Park granted their use for their fall soccer leagues. The facilty was named Elings Fields at Girsh Park in honor of Virgil Elings’ large donation to the Fields Forever Capital Campaign in 2005.
Our most recent accomplishment was to open the Girsh-Hochman Field in March of 2009. The Foundation for Girsh Park worked diligently, and successfully raised over a million dollars in the three year Fields Forever 2 Capital Campaign. This masterpiece was opened in March of 2009 equipped with FieldTurf, the best synthetic turf on the market. Girsh Park patrons have been thrilled to play on the most quality soccer field in Santa Barbara County. We continue to own and operate Girsh Park as a unique public/private partnership, ensuring that the park will be available for the public to enjoy into perpetuity.