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Torii gate at Shoreline Park

Shoreline Park Torii Gate Garden Restoration to Begin February 8

Authored on
February 6, 2023

Phase 1 of the Shoreline Park Torii Gate Garden Restoration Project is set to begin this week. Phase 1 will focus on regrading areas where the garden elevations have changed over time, relocating boulders that have shifted, relocating the irrigation system, and addressing soil compaction in planting areas. Phase 2 will focus on the installation of new plants. Access to Shoreline Steps is not expected to be impacted by the work. 

In 1998, a traditional torii gate and Japanese garden were installed in Shoreline Park to honor Santa Barbara’s sister city, Toba, Japan. Though the gate still stands, marking the entrance to the Shoreline Steps leading to the beach below, much of the garden was lost over the years due to increased canopy cover from overhead eucalyptus trees and water restrictions from the ongoing drought. The City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department is working with local neighborhood groups, including Our Neighborhood Mesa Inc (OMNI), to return elements of the original design using landscaping better suited for the shady, low-water conditions and bring a beautiful cultural space back to Shoreline Park. The restoration project is funded by donations made through OMNI.