Opinion » Letters

Oceano is critically underserved


This is in response to the news story "Visitors to county parks want 'dynamic experiences,' report says" (April 11):

The 2019 SLO County Parks and Recreation report says, "The commission is committed to a long-term strategy for a strong park system for the benefit of people of all ages. National statistics show that parks, open space, and recreation programs are vital to our health, economy, and our environment ... essentially every person who lives in or visits San Luis Obispo County—needs parks. They provide a great range of benefits to locals and tourists. Parks provide intrinsic environmental, aesthetic, recreation, and societal benefits to our region, and they are also a source of positive economic benefits."

We agree. However, in the report, Nipomo is mentioned 14 times, the Bob Jones Trail is mentioned five times and is receiving much of the funding, and Oceano is mentioned zero times.

The California Public Resources Code defines a "critically underserved community" as one that has less than 3 acres of usable parkland per 1,000 residents. To fall outside of this definition, Oceano should have more than 22 acres of parkland, but we have only 1 acre. Our single small park is on the west side of Highway 1, and most residents have to play Frogger to reach it because we don't have a single crosswalk.

Oceano is a critically underserved community, and it makes us eligible for grant funds to improve parks and recreation. How about making a bike/walk trail along the Arroyo Grande Creek levee, so residents have a safe way to access the beach? How about creating parks on the east side of Highway 1, where most residents live?

For too long, Oceano has been ignored, and is still ignored in the parks report. Despite the public requests of Oceano residents, the Board of Supervisors failed to direct county parks to include anything for Oceano, which remains disadvantaged, critically underserved, and ignored.

Cynthia Replogle


Oceano Beach Community Association

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