When I suggested that we replace the Dale Griggs Lawn Bowling Center, located at Santa Ana’s Santiago Park, I had no idea what the sport of lawn bowling was all about. But I had an idea that the lawn bowlers were not from Santa Ana.
Don’t ask by the way who Dale Griggs is. I tried to find out. I suspect he was a past elected official. There is almost no information about him available on the Internet. But his name still lingers at Santiago Park.
Yesterday I took my dog for a walk – and brought my camera. As you can see in the slide show above, these folks don’t appear to be from Santa Ana. One of the cars, which had a lawn bowler license plate, even had a City of Fountain Valley sticker on it.
Here is what the Santa Ana Lawn Bowling Club has to say about themselves and their sport, on their website:
The Club was founded in 1938 and the grounds belong to the Santa Ana Parks Dept. The club is run by a board of directors and officers who are elected by the club membership.
We bowl on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and on special tournament days. Bowling times are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:00pm May through Oct. and at 1:00pm Nov. through April and at 9:00am on Saturdays. Bowlers are asked to arrive 30 minutes early to help set up the rinks.
Yearly dues are $75. New members are allowed free use of bowls for up to four months, instruction, a locker (subject to availability) and a name badge. There is a $1 fee each time we bowl to cover incidental club expenses. The fee is higher on fun and tournament days to cover the prize money given to the winners. In respect of tradition, bowlers wear the traditional “whites” on Fun Days, club tournament days and for special events.
There are indeed several of these greens in Orange County. You can click here to see the list, which includes greens in Corona del Mar, Irvine, Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo. You can learn more about the sport of lawn bowling by watching the video provided above.
They have eight officers and directors. Click here to see the list. Only one is Latino. The rest appear to be Caucasian. You can see some of them in the picture above, which I took from their January newsletter.
I have nothing against these people. But in a city which is broke and doesn’t have enough park space to go around, it seems nuts to pay to entertain folks who don’t live here. They say that they help maintain the property, but as you can see in my slideshow, it is closed off to our residents. And all the signs are in English only!
According to the City of Santa Ana’s demographics information, 75.8% of our residents are Latinos. Asians have greatly increased in number. My guess is that they make up about 15% of our population now. Yet you won’t see any Asians or Latinos at the Lawn Bowling center. So why are we maintaining this use when we could find better ways to use the space?
I visited Costa Mesa’s dog park yesterday. I will be filing a separate report about that visit. Suffice to say that it has been a huge success for over twenty years. It is used by thousands of city residents. Next to it is a skate park, which we could also use in Santiago Park.
The City of Costa Mesa has gone out of its way to serve its residents. The City of Santa Ana appears to be mired in 1938. Isn’t it time to serve our own residents, who don’t have a dog park even though we have over 11,000 licensed dogs in town and perhaps twice that number that are unlicensed?