Park Mission and History


The Lester A. and Viola S. 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 since 1999.  The Park was built by Wynmark Company in conjunction with the Camino Real Marketpace construction.  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 west of the original park by raising over $5.6 million in the Fields Forever Capital Campaign.  This created a permanent home for two of Goleta’s most popular youth sports programs, Dos Pueblos Little League and AYSO Region 122. The facility was named Elings Fields at Girsh Park in honor of Virgil Elings’ large donation to the campaign.

In March of 2009, we opened our synthetic turf ‘Girsh-Hochman Field’. The Foundation raised $1.2 million in the three year Fields Forever 2 Capital Campaign.  The field is 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.

Our most recent capital improvement project built a new Fieldhouse in the Elings Fields Complex.  The building holds restrooms, a concessions stand, and storage.  The project also upgraded our batting cages, built the new Camino Real Playground, and improved accessibility with new walkways.  These improvments were funded by our $700,000 Fields Forever 3 Capital Campaign.

We continue to own and operate Girsh Park as a unique public/private partnership, ensuring that the park will be available for the community to enjoy.