State Funding Received for First Inclusive Playground

Playground to be Located at Stow Grove Park

A universal playground is in the City of Goleta’s future thanks in large part to two local legislators. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a budget in July which included providing $750,000 in State funding to go towards the City’s first inclusive playground to be located at the historic Stow Grove Park. Assemblymember Gregg Hart and Senator Monique Limón requested the funding after meeting with Mayor Paula Perotte, City Councilmembers Stuart Kasdin and James Kyriaco, and City staff at the League of California Cities City Leaders Summit in Sacramento in April 2023. While the design for the playground is yet to begin, the community can expect a park that serves the ‘whole child’ – physical, social/emotional, sensory, cognitive and communication.

Assemblymember Gregg Hart said, “We are very fortunate to have high quality parks and open spaces in our community. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure funding for the Stow Grove Park playground project. Once built, this new playground will be enjoyed by our local youth and families for many years to come.”

“I am grateful that Assemblymember Gregg Hart championed this funding in the Assembly for this community project,” said Senator Monique Limón. “Investing in our recreational and open spaces is an important step to ensuring all of our community members have places to enjoy the beauty of our district.” 

City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said, “We can’t wait to see children of all abilities playing together and enjoying this beautiful historic park that is a treasured location in our City. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Assemblymember Hart and Senator Limón for prioritizing funding for this project and recognizing the importance of providing a safe, fun place for all children to play and develop new skills.”

The playground is part of a larger plan to revamp Stow Grove Park which has been a public park since 1920 and was deeded to the County in 1964. The City of Goleta assumed ownership of the park from the County of Santa Barbara upon incorporation in 2002. The Stow Grove Park Master Plan is currently going through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process. Once that is complete, the Draft Initial Study – Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS-MND) will be made available for review. As soon as the IS-MND is final and adopted, the project will move into the design phase, including the design of the universal playground.

The park currently has a variety of play features, in three different spaces. The City’s Stow Grove Park Draft Master Plan combines these three separate spaces into one large play space that will be able to accommodate a variety of play elements. Fundamentally, inclusively designed play environments are a statement about a community’s social values and every child’s right to play. The goal is to innovate play experiences and provide quality outdoor play for people of all ages and abilities which develop the whole child, the whole environment, and ultimately, benefit the whole community. 

Stay tuned for updates as plans for the inclusive playground are developed. For more information on the Stow Grove Master Plan visit our website here. For questions, contact our Parks and Recreation Manager JoAnne Plummer at

We can’t wait to have this important resource available in our community.

Governor Newsom signing the bill into law