Eastside Library will be closed due to construction work through 8/7.


Dwight Murphy Field Renovation Project

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Justin Van Mullem
Capital Projects Supervisor
(805) 897-1972

Project Location


The property known as Dwight Murphy Field was acquired by the City of Santa Barbara in 1925. Commonly known as the Municipal Soccer Field, it was named in honor of Dwight Murphy in honor of his civic leadership.  Today, it still serves as the City’s only dedicated soccer facility, and also includes include a softball field, outdoor fitness area, and playground.

In late 2016, the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation reached out to the Parks and Recreation Department with a vision to develop Santa Barbara’s first all-abilities playground. Dwight Murphy Field was identified as the best site for the new and exciting project.  At the same time, the Department was investigating opportunities to redevelop the park to better serve the community. In 2018, the Department began outreach to understand the community’s vision for the future of the park. In addition to the new playground, an overwhelming need was identified for a high-quality sports facility, with a youth baseball field, regulation-size multi-sport field, and an expanded outdoor gym.  The community also requested to see improved park amenities like walking paths, community gathering spaces, a new restroom, and improved parking.

In 2019, the City Council approved the Dwight Murphy Master Plan.  Through a memorandum of understanding, the City and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation are co-funding the project design and construction.  Funding for project construction includes $6 million raised by the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, $6 million in City funds, and $1.5 million of federal Community Project Funding (CPF) secured by Congressman Salud Carbajal. The Parks and Recreation Department is actively seeking $10 million to fund the remainder of the estimated $23.5 million project cost.  


Anticipated Project Timeline

May 2018 - August 2021

Community outreach and preliminary plan development

August 2021

Project approval at Planning Commission

September 2021 - December 2023

Project design and construction documents finalized

January 2024 - June 2024

Building permits obtained and construction bidding

July 2024 - July 2025

Project construction

Summer 2025

Dwight Murphy Field reopens!

Planned Renovations

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Past Meetings and Events

May 31, 2018 – Community Meeting: Master Plan Workshop #1
July 10, 2018 – Community Meeting: Master Plan Workshop #2
August 14, 2018 – Community Outreach: Community Survey receives 800 responses
August 22, 2018 – Public Hearing: Parks and Recreation Commission and Neighborhood Advisory Council review Draft Master Plan
November 5, 2018 – Public Hearing: Architectural Board of Review reviews Draft Master Plan 
November 14, 2018 – Public Hearing: Parks and Recreation Commission recommends moving Draft Master Plan to design phase
January 29, 2019 – Public Hearing: City Council affirms Master Plan
September 27, 2020 – Public Hearing:  Architectural Board of Review reviews Preliminary Design
July 27, 2021 – Community Meeting: Outdoor Fitness
July 28, 2021 – Public Hearing: Parks and Recreation Commission reviews Preliminary Design and recommends Project Approval
July 29, 2021 – Community Meeting: Project Update
August 19, 2021 – Public Hearing: Planning Commission gives Project Approval
November 5, 2021 – Access Advisory Committee reviews Preliminary Design 
August 22, 2022 – Public Hearing: Architectural Board of Review gives Project Design Approval 
April 17, 2023 – Public Hearing: Architectural Board of Review gives In-Progress Review