Santa Maria receives $589,000 grant for outdoor recreation experiences

SANTA MARIA, Calif. — The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department has received a $589,000 grant that will go towards educational and fun outdoor experiences for children and families in the city.

“As we see during the pandemic, how important it is to be outdoors and enjoy what we have here in California,” said Dennis Smitherman, recreation services manager.

This grant is funded by California State Parks and will help the community have access to outdoor activities such as field trips, whale watching, and more.

“It’s really going to allow us to provide access to nature and the outdoors and experiences that many Santa Maria residents haven’t had the opportunity to have,” Smitherman said.

This grant is also in line with Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Outdoors for All” initiative, which expands access to the outdoors for all Californians through targeted investments in open space infrastructure and other outdoor programs. outdoors.

“I think what’s really good about this grant is not only that we’re bringing people back into the wild, but we’re going to be able to provide leadership opportunities for young people and teenagers,” said Smitherman.

Many activities organized by the Santa Maria Outdoor Recreation Experience program will be based at Buena Vista Park in Santa Maria.

3 years of activities are already underway and should start this summer.

“We have great adventure travel such as whale watching, horseback riding as well as educational activities here in Santa Maria,” Dennis Smitherman said.