Congressman Carbajal Highlights Delivering $1,500,000 for Dwight Murphy Field Renovations with Mayor Rowse, City Officials

The renovation, which is projected to be completed in summer 2025, will feature Santa Barbara’s first all-abilities playground, in addition to improved sports and recreation facilities


Earlier today, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) visited Dwight Murphy Field with Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rowse, Director of Parks and Recreation Jill Zachary, and other local officials to highlight the $1,500,000 in federal funds recently delivered to support the renovation of the park.

The City of Santa Barbara is using these federal funds and other funding sources to complete a full-scale renovation of Dwight Murphy Field, including a new 36,000-square-foot all-abilities playground and a range of new park and sports facilities.

“As a dad, and a grandfather – I agree with the basic premise that is the foundation of this planned renovation: every child deserves to play. That mantra was what stuck with me as I worked behind the scenes in Washington to secure $1.5 million in federal dollars to directly support this important project that is already backed by local public and private funds,” said Congressman Carbajal.As someone who has worked in local government here in Santa Barbara and who has called the Central Coast home for a long time, I know this is the kind of update that can make our community more inclusive, can promote outdoor activity for all, and raise the quality of life for everyone who will have access to this park.”

“Parks are critical assets in every community.  This project provides a vision for the future of community gathering and play,” said Mayor Rowse. “We are so thankful for Congressman Carbajal’s support. A city park since 1925, it is named in honor of Dwight Murphy for his civic leadership in securing public open space in the City’s waterfront. Congressman Carbajal’s support for this project continues that legacy and will bring much joy to the families of Santa Barbara.”

“Growing up in Santa Barbara, City parks played a special role in my youth,” said Councilmember Alejandra Gutierrez. “They provided my family with places to gather and recreate, and they supported all the kids in my neighborhood. I know how important parks are for the youth of today. Field space is a critical need, accessible playgrounds are a necessity, and the opportunity for families to be together builds a strong community. Once complete, this park will provide multi-generational opportunities, bring children of all ages and abilities together, and achieve much needed safe park space.”

“The City of Santa Barbara is tremendously grateful for Congressman Carbajal’s support for the revitalization of Dwight Murphy Field,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jill Zachary. “The new recreation fields, community green space, outdoor fitness gym, and inclusive playground, will bring vital upgrades to serve youth, recreation enthusiasts, neighborhood residents, and families from all over Santa Barbara. Gwendolyn’s playground, Santa Barbara’s first inclusive play space, will ensure that all children, regardless of ability, will be able to play together.”

The renovations are projected to be completed by summer 2025. More information on the planned renovations for Dwight Murphy Field can be found here.

Carbajal was also joined at Dwight Murphy Field by Councilmembers Eric Friedman and Oscar Gutierrez, Supervisor Laura Capps, and Victoria Strong, Executive Director of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, which has helped raise millions of dollars in donations for the project.

After advocating for this and other community projects over the majority of 2022, Rep. Carbajal successfully secured more than $22 million for 14 projects in the congressional spending package that was signed into law in December 2022 – nine of which are located in Santa Barbara County.

In March 2022, Carbajal secured direct funding for nine other community projects – including funds to support renovations at LeRoy Park in Guadalupe, the Santa Barbara Veterans’ Memorial Building, and the Goleta Valley Community Center.

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