Robert "Bobby" Acquistapace Park — Santa Maria's 28th city park and newest recreation area — is now open to residents after a year of construction.
The park, located at the corner of Sonya Lane and Western Avenue, offers substantial green space, a playground structure, restrooms, two basketball courts, three barbecue and picnic areas, and other infrastructure for special events, according to city spokesman Mark van de Kamp.
Construction of Acquistapace Park began in March 2020, with the total cost coming in just under $700,000. The park officially opened on April 3, van de Kamp said.
The park's namesake, Robert "Bobby" Acquistapace, was known for his community involvement and service through organizations like the Elks Rodeo and Parade, the Rotary Club of Santa Maria, the Santa Maria Valley Economic Development Association, the Santa Maria Riding and Roping Club, and Vaqueros de Los Ranchos.
"During his tenure as chair of the parade, from 1977 to 2009, Bobby reestablished the Elks/Minetti Mino Rodeo that provided thousands of elementary school-aged children with an experience at the rodeo," van de Kamp said.
The city was able to save around 30% in project costs by acting as the owner and builder of the project, with staff completing much of the irrigation, landscaping and grading.
Some specialty work was outsourced to subcontractors including Pleinaire Design Group, J.F. Will Co., Rusty Cameron Landscape Construction, Central Coast Playgrounds, Snow Construction, Bethel Engineering and JD Humann Landscaping, according to van de Kamp.
For more information about the new park, contact the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department at 805-925-0951, ext. 2260, or visit cityofsantamaria.org/recreation.