This is a guest post by Oxnard Campus Park’s Facebook Page.
Currently Planned Spaces:
1. Dog Park & Amenities
Provide a space that is inviting to both dogs and owners. The park shall provide areas for dogs to play in a safe, interactive and healthy environment. The entire park should be dog friendly and accessible to dog owners; provide dog-waste stations and water fountains
for dogs throughout all park trails & sidewalks. The individual dog play areas should be divided into two separate spaces, one for large dogs and another for small dogs. Each dog play spaces shall have benches for dog owners with shaded areas and trees. Provide durable furniture, waste stations, and toys and water fountains for dogs and owners. Make sure there are no plants near the play areas that may harm or be allergic to dogs.
2. Rec Area
The Recreational Area or the PAL gym should be a major icon of the park with access to community spaces for activities and youth programs.
3. Activity Center
We coined the name “Activity Center” for the two-story building, because it offers a numerous spaces that could serve multiple community & park activities. We are not aware of the programs that will be occupying that space but it could be a very dynamic and vibrant space for community arts and children’s programs. There is sufficient open space adjacent to it to provide outdoor art space, studios & labs.
4. Skate Park
The Skate Park is an important aspect of the park and will provide an attractive activity for kids and young adults. The skate areas must be gated for security reasons. It should also be integrated to the circulation sidewalks and be visible & identifiable from all parts of the park. The skate area should enhance the use of the park, and will encourage parents and their kids to visit together. A parent should be able to drop off their kids at
the skate park and take advantage of other activities on the park having the security of where their kids are.
The Basketball courts must be gated, both for security and to keep the balls inside the courts. Similar to the skate park it needs a marker to identify and will too, offer multiple activities and options for people.
6. Maintenance space
Maintenance is a pragmatic necessity for a park, and one that is critical to its operations, longevity and success. It should be accessible to deliveries, provide ample storage space and immediate access to the entire park via vehicular (carts) means.
Oxnard, boasts a tradition of Friday night and weekend softball leagues for adults. It’s a sector of the community, which thrives and is important to the social culture of the City. Providing a softball field is important to attract a large sector of the Oxnard Community.
Oxnard has numerous youth soccer leagues, which use many of the parks throughout the City every weekend morning. Its important to provide a field that will provide space for that and add another important aspect of the overall activities for the Park.
Proposed Planned Spaces (additional spaces):
9. Botanical Garden
Will provide a learning experience and a natural space where people from different backgrounds in the community can stroll through different paths and enjoy the garden. People that experience a botanical garden can learn about a variety of plant species, how flowers beautify a space, what colors they bring, aromas they release, insects and animals they attract, and how they intensify our experience with the natural world. A botanical
garden promotes interaction with the community since visitors share their experiences with friends and family as they stroll through the paths intersecting the garden.
10. Community Garden
A space where people from the community can learn the basics of farming and grow plants and vegetables with their own hands. It should allow people the opportunity to
learn the basics of farming and gardening. It should bring the community together and promote volunteerism, healthy lifestyles, recycling, community interaction, green living and education.
A small outdoor amphitheatre would provide a venue for local musical artists, like Jazz artists, guitar players, folk bands and other “family based” music to entertain small groups of people and allow for a relaxing time. Other events can include local movie shorts or experimental film screenings, dance competitions, poetry readings, theatre, etc.
The flat geography surrounding the park site would benefit from having a collection of trees, and in this case, the area facing 5th street. The arboretum will provide a visual cue to one of the park’s entrances and for visitors traveling along this road. It will also create the space and background for the amphitheatre, provide shade for the it, help subdue
noise from traffic, and create a space of visual interest.
A cafe near the amphitheatre would be ideal by providing those attending an an amphitheatre event a place to sit, relax, listen to music, study or just read a book. It would also benefit those attending any other spaces at the gardens.
14. Shop/Info booth
Visitors would need information about “Campus Park” activities and amenities that would guide them and help them make better use of their time there. This would also make them feel welcomed which would be extremely important to assure they are informed of all ongoing activities, sports leagues and opportunities. Spending time at the botanical
garden and other engaging activities, would leave an impression on its visitors, that is why a shop would provide an opportunity to sell garden gifts, garden books, Oxnard history books, etc.
15. Buddhist Temple tribute
A long narrow stretch of gardens on the “H” street side will pay tribute to both Oxnard’s Japanese & Buddhist history and contributions to this city. It will also allow for the Buddhist Temple across the street to enjoy some of their activities, even extend their festival into the park. The gardens will also minimize any noise produced by sports activities at the park and provide a beautiful natural landscape for those traveling on “H” street.
16. Memorial Space
This space will provide an area dedicated to local heros, veterans, community leaders and could host ceremonies like Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day and other city celebrations. It’s a space where the architecture and landscape becomes formal, balanced, and symmetrical. It’s a space that areas to commemorate historical figures that will bring
the community together.
17. Donors Plaza
The “Donors Plaza”, would be a place that will allow donors to be recognized via a plaque, bench, fountain or tree naming process. The concept is to allow local philanthropy to contribute to a foundation Friends of Oxnard Gardens that would help with the maintenance of the Park.
18. Multifunctional Community Lab Spaces
This multi-functional structure will provide areas for workshops or any other function related to the park and programs using this space from the community. The concept is to have an open plan structure with movable partition-walls that will allow the space to be rearranged to any size and allow for a variety of activities, including Civic celebrations and could be rented out for private use to raise funds and most important to activate
19. Dual Walkway and Bike Trail (trails circling park)
A bike-friendly park will provide a place for the active person and promote a ‘green” lifestyle as it will be a place for bike riders to visit. Signage should promote visitation from pedestrians, bike riders and joggers.
20. Green House & Storage
Located inside the Community Garden space, this structure will fit the needs of the community garden by providing a year round space to garden without the affects of seasonal changes. It would also allow for gardening workshops to take place. Once such example would be to include bonsai tree workshops, which already take place at the Buddhist Temple, and can be extended to this area.
21. Picnic Area
Provide large open green spaces for personal activities and weekend picnic & barbeques. There are two areas designated, one in a large open green space, the other adjacent to the amphitheater. The one adjacent to the Amphitheater could be used during concerts or festivals.
22. Kids Play Area
Provide a fun and secure play area for small children to use and also have access to the entire park. The space should have build-in benches, planters and shaded areas for not only play but for instruction.
23. Athletes Memorial
Provide a Memorial for local athletic icons from Oxnard that have contributed to our community.
24. District Bus Repair/ Maintenance Area
Existing facilities to remain.
25. District Offices
Existing facilities to remain.
A. Removal Structures
A key aspect to the success of the park is for the space to be multifunctional. One solution is to plan ahead for built-in shade or covered structures. Spaces like, music areas, fair sale booths, information kiosks, stages, etc. Removal structures should allow more efficient use of the space throughout and also provide additional spaces for different
programs and/or activities. The structures could be fabric tensile structures that could be easily erected and taken down.
The success of the park with the Oxnard community will be based primarily on the programing of the park. The park should provide spaces that can serve for multiple functions and attract as many people from the community with any interest to them provide the possibilities for spaces shall be used for walking, visiting, relaxing, exhibiting art, etc.
C. Water Features
Water features should be used to identify key places at various parts of the park. We identified at least 3-please which could be used for people to gather and would provide a feature that would help identify it. The shape should be simple in its geometry.
D. Sculptures and Marquees
The park will offer many opportunities throughout the site to place commemorative sculptures of city heroes, important community leaders and contributors. The inclusion of important event and personal sculptures and/ or marquees is a great asset to the community and any visitor to learn more about the history of the city.
It is important to identify how this park can address the sustainable demands for its construction, development and upkeep. We consider sustainability to be a three-part balancing phenomena that must address; social, economic & environmental balance for maximum success.
-social: from the inception of the park, the programming and the inclusion of the community in the process is critical to the success and buy-in. Providing important spaces that meet the demands of the community and providing spaces and places of interest that are instructional, informative that will people will identify and take care of.
– economic: We understand that all additional planting and labor as a result of a garden park is an additional burden on the City’s budget. Therefore we propose a foundation “Friends of Oxnard Gardens”, donor and philanthropic opportunities to raise funds to maintain. In addition, by-in from the community is also important for the community to
contribute via clean-up days, to give people the opportunity of social-philanthropy.
-environment: We would propose the use of permeable materials, re-claimed water for irrigation, ample shading, and wherever there are roof structures, installation of photovoltaic solar panels. Use of drought tolerant plant material, waterless or low flow bathroom accessories and LED lighting.
A. Fitness classes
Classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai- chi and Zumba for beginners and advanced students can be offered. These fitness classes can take place in the morning and evening to assure everyone in the community can participate. Fitness walks can also be coordinated during lunch.
B. Book Readings and Lectures
Free knowledge for everyone. National and local writers can host free book readings and sell their books. Professors from UCLA, USC, UCSB and Channel Islands can visit and give free lectures related to various topics ranging from health to agriculture. This is a perfect way to connect the academia to the community and build a lasting relationship. These events can take place in the Amphitheater or the Community Space section of
C. Art Fairs
Oxnard has a large, talented and dedicated local artist community. Artist groups can use the different spaces in the garden to host art festivals and offer community art classes.
Different organizations and groups in Oxnard can participate by hosting workshops for the entire community. Workshops related to gardening, environmental issues, public safety, and public health are some of the many workshops that can be offered.
E. Food and Wine Tasting
Different wineries and local restaurants can host tasting events. For example, “The Taste of Oxnard” can be an annual event in the garden.
F. Music and Poetry Events
On weekends or weekdays in the evening residents can stop by the garden’s Amphitheater and enjoy music by talented local artist. Theater groups and art groups can also host poetry reading events.
The beautiful landscape settings in the garden can provide the perfect location to hold a simple wedding ceremony or a more elaborate one. The city will have specific fees for the rental of the space.
Non- profits organizations and other civic organizations can also use the garden to host private or public fundraising events. Family reunions or memorials can also take place in the garden.