National statistics show parks, open space, and recreation programs are vital to our health and a vital component in livable communities. Yet, the financial capacity of local governments—especially in counties of San Luis Obispo’s size—to fund new infrastructure has become increasingly difficult during the past 30 years.
There are many competing needs and worthy projects throughout the county, and there isn’t enough money to fund all the things we need and want to do. That’s why the county Parks and Recreation Commission and Board of Supervisors have been committed to a long-term strategy for a strong park system for the benefit of people of all ages and abilities—across supervisorial district lines.
We are not five counties; we are one county. We do not have borders. People from South County visit the Cayucos Pier; people from San Luis Obispo picnic at Biddle Park; people from Templeton play at the Avila Park, etc.
Looking at the big picture, a great example of effective use of public facilities fees is the Bob Jones Pathway, a regional attraction and our No. 1 priority for years. When completed, it will bring in visitors that support our economy and will offer more recreational opportunities for our residents (of all ages and abilities) to live healthier lives, commute in different ways, and connect with the natural landscapes that make our county so special.
After the current construction documents and consulting services’ request for proposals are released, we will be one step closer to connecting the city to the sea.
-- Pandora Nash-Karner - SLO County parks commissioner, 2nd District