The Rotary Ojai-West
  
Community Park

A local celebration of Rotary's Centennial

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    The site of Rotary Community Park has been Ojai’s transportation hub for more than 125 years. Used as a stage stop from the 1880s to about 1910, visitors would get off the train to board the stagecoach to the hot springs.

    After World War II the site was Bunce Brothers Lumber Yard from the 1940s to 1970.  Many soldiers who had been stationed at temporary camps on Ojai Valley Inn property during WWII stayed after the war to build homes with Bunce materials.

    In the 1970s, the site was used as a nursery that went bankrupt in the 1980s, leaving behind an unsightly  vacant lot.

    A CalTrans grant provided funding to build the first portion of the Park & Ride facility in 1989.  An additional CalTrans grant was authorized in 2003 to complete the Park& Ride as part of a comprehensive Inter-modal Transportation Facility including:

  • Park & Ride and Car-pooling Location
  • SCAT Bus Services
  • Ojai Trolley Services.

    With this CalTrans support, the City of Ojai installed underground utilities and site “hardscape” roads for vehicles and pathways for pedestrians, plus the trolley/bus shelter, the Ojai Trail shelter, and a protective concrete block wall along the highway, among other heavy construction elements.  This City of Ojai/CalTrans work was completed in early 2005.

 

    Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Ojai-West approached the City with a plan to follow and enhance the completed Inter-modal Transportation Facility with irrigated landscaping, decorative stonework, and public art.

   
This community service project would be accomplished entirely with private contributions and without public funds.

        Rotary and other community groups cleaned up the construction site, installed irrigation systems, built a new pedestrian bridge, new trail railings and equestrian tie-up area with horse trough.

    The Rotary Club of Ojai-West also installed and dedicated the running horse theme sculpture, and stone facing for the concrete block wall.

 The finished wall was inlaid with “quotation stones” by figures from Ojai history.

    With these aesthetic enhancements, the space now provides a focal point and resting place for pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists, and equestrians using the Ojai Valley Trail, plus convenient access to public transportation.

    In recognition of this community effort led by Rotary Club of Ojai-West to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rotary International, the space is to be known as Rotary Community Park, with equal emphasis on Rotary and Community.

We all join together saying to locals and visitors alike as they drive, walk, run, or ride into town:  

“Welcome to Ojai.”

 


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    Last modified: April 19, 2011