Thu. Dec 7th, 2023

The director of the Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Agency, Gerardo Mouet, wants to use half of the current Santa Ana Lawn Bowling Center to make money by renting the area for weddings and the like.  His department is broke and is trying desperately to come up with ways to increase funding.

I can understand that sentiment, but I think it is an awful idea.  This is a unique, large space and we really need to think long and hard about how we can use it to most benefit our residents.

Lawn bowling clearly is a terrible use for this space. I recently spoke to a former Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Commissioner who informed me that at most perhaps two out of the 17 or so lawn bowlers who use the facility actually live here in Santa Ana.  Most of them live in Anaheim, Garden Grove, Tustin and Fountain Valley.

Currently, the lawn bowling  fields are locked up and unused a majority of the time.  I am also told that the lawn bowlers have been trying to kill all the ground squirrels in the area.  Not good.

It is past time to say adios to the lawn bowlers.  If we are to locate the proposed City dog park at the current SAPD police dog training facility, I think we ought to think about using the lawn bowling area for a skate park on one side and a bmx field on the other side.

Paving over the grass would save our city a lot of water, and would reduce the amount of chemicals that are currently being used in that area.

Where would the money come from?  I am told that a skate park designer lives over at the City Place, and he is willing to help us with this project.  I believe this would be an ideal project to submit for federal CDBG grants – and we could also partner with existing non-profits.

Santa Ana is the youngest city in Orange County.  Isn’t it time to do something great for our young people?

Now I am not naive.  I expect push-back.  Mouet lives in the Park Santiago Neighborhood.  And he has expressed in the past that nothing will happen without consulting the Park Santiago Neighborhood Association.  But why is that?  They are not elected at large.  They represent 1% of our neighborhood and their Board is not diverse.

Santiago Park is not just a neighborhood park.  It is a huge park with a lot of distinct features and its is used by residents from all over our city.  Mouet should consult with more than just a few busy bodies before making decisions about how this park is used.

Click here to contact the Santa Ana City Council.  You can contact City Manager Dave Ream’s assistant, Mark Lawrence, at

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

22 thoughts on “How about building a skate park and a bmx field at the Santa Ana Lawn Bowling Center?”
  1. A skate park and BMX field would be an awesome idea that would further the framework established by the consultants who completed the Youth and Family Master Plan. The consultants who completed the plan focused on one of the forty variables that were cited in the research performed by the Search Institute. A better and free approach is available through the existing non profits that follow this research framework.

    The bottom line is that the city is broke. The money that was used to pay the consultants for this research could have been better used to pay for construction of this skate park and BMX Field. Since the city is broke, I think that the non-profits can serve to meet the unfilled needs. I know of two Santa Ana residents who can hook us up with professional skateboard park builders who can build for us for free if we can provide the location. I serve on the board of two non-profits and i’m sure that we can we can raise some funds and make this happen if we can get city approval.

    Alfonso Alvarez, Ed.D.

  2. I think opening up a r/c track would be the way to go bmx and skate parks in santa ana only attract crime,liability..
    running an r/c track is the way to go if you want to make some money , lets say we put on a race with 300 entries at 60.00 to race your looking 18,000 in one day and all thats needed is a dirt track witch no one gets hurt on just remote control cars are allowed on the track, a drivers stand and some pit tables… I had a track here in santa ana on edinger across from the park it was a very famous place if you were into rc cars, no one in orange county has never seen nothing like it,,,, I wish I could get a chance to do it again…especially for our youth

    1. I love R/C cars. I wonder if we could build a track somewhere else along the river that goes through Santiago Park? We should look at doing this near the train overpass.

  3. R/C cars– okay you asked for it our family is thee champions of this hobby!!

    We will roast all of you—

    We’d volunteer to run the tiny engine repair shop! Up grades to high performance parts! Yaaahoooooo!

  4. As a Lifelong skater, An avid R.C. Car enthusiast and a 17+ year mechanical design engineer specializing in skating, bmx and motorcycle extreme ramps and structures and who resides in Santa Ana, I can tell you that the area in question would would be far better utilized as a skate/bmx training facility.

    Point 1: The land is much too valuable to be used as an RC track.

    Point 2: The simple fact that our youth are suffering due to lack of exercise and a skate/bmx park would be a wonderful way to help curb or eliminate childhood obesity.

    Point 3: If the training facility were done correctly, it would become a mecca for action sports tourists from around the world. The cost/benefit studies would plainly show the increase in business for the shops across the street. Expected R.O.I. for any potential investor in the facility would be less than 2 years.

    Point 4: What Hotbox RC stated above is factually incorrect and shows his lack of knowledge concerning the topic at hand. If there is anything skating/bmx does, is REDUCE crime, Gang participation, and drug use.I know many many people who have had their lives saved by being into skating. Skating and BMx gives our youth the opportunity to physically remove themselves from negative situations and helps them to focus on personal goals, helps them to stay away from drug use by not being around it in their neighborhoods and gives them an opportunity to become the next superstar and earn anywhere from 50 to 500k per year. Show me how RC cars can do that.. Also the staggering amount of professions utilized in the skating industry is amazing. From design, to engineering, mathematics and physics. All of these can be gleaned out of the sport.

    Point 5: Skateboarding is a 21.7 billion dollar a year industry. It is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. If the City of Santa Ana were to indeed build a park like the one in the article, It would only help the parks department regain a positive cash flow.

    Just my thoughts…

  5. ya just like the skate park at centienal park ,thats what you call a waste of money,also you noted that r/c drivers dont make big money your wrong there are many drivers out there making a 100,000 or more a year just to drive a r/c car..i understand how much you like to skate but i bet you people would vote on building a track more than a skate park by far…and that pretty sad on how you label our youth as being obesity here in santa ana,like i said the skatepark at centienal park was a major waste of money all they do there is smoke pot ,drink, and do wrighting on the walls
    dont beieve me go there and see it for your self…stop hiding you identity show who you are??/

    1. SurfCity Halofan,

      Not yet but good news is coming. I am working with two City Commissions to make this happen. Once we change out some of the Commissioners on the Parks and Rec Commission this idea is going to really take off!

    1. SurfCity Halofan,

      That is great – thanks! I think we can make this happen. There are a few folks in town who oppose all change but the majority of Santa Ana residents want positive improvements. Building a facility like this would really be such a boon to our young people, who are so under-served in this area.

  6. I think a skatepark and BMX track would be a great use for this area,,,I agree that skate parks and BMX track reduce crime gang activity etc as the skaters and riders do not tolerate such activities because they know that those types of things will most certainly bring police and other city officials in and then closeur is not far behind
    I salute the Parks and Recreation for coming up with this idea and I hope it is brought to fruition soon..As far as a R/C track…why not adapt the BMX track for use as a R/C track also?…with dirt anything is possible!!!!
    Thats alli have to say about that

  7. The lawn bowler’s contribute money to the parks dept to maintain Santiago park.

    How much money will the BMX or R/C racers pay to build and maintain the facilities? And the traffic and noise for that neighborhood.

    1. cook,

      They do not nearly contribute what they ought to be contributing – and that is besides the point. This is not their park. They should not be here.

      I will bet you a steak dinner that I can come up with major corporate sponsors for the facility I am proposing. The cost will be covered. We will also be able to tap into grants and existing non-profit organizations.

      As for traffic and noise, as long as these activities are curtailed at dusk, no one should complain. It is a park. One expects there to be some noise. And the best part re traffic is that the users of the facility will be using green power – their bikes and skateboards. No emissions.

  8. This is a great idea. There are not nearly enough places for BMXers to ride; only two skate parks currently allow bikes and only a couple times a week.

    Also, a dirt bike jump park would be a great use. Not necessarily a track, as there is one nearby, but a “pump track” or other area for jumps. I think you’d find that the users would be eager to help maintain and build something like that. Also, you could seek the help of local mountain bike clubs.

    Lots of BMX race tracks have RC tracks adjacent. Depending on space needs, you could probably fit both in.

  9. well i was at the race’s last weekend in hemet for the r/c nationals it had more than 380 entrants running 1/8th scale buggies and truggies and 1/10 scale trucks all nitro and the cost per entry was $80.00 , this track made more than 25,000 in this 2 day event ,one day qualifing and the next day racing, theres not one bmx track or skateboard track that can put that kind of revenue in one day, thats why were pursuing to open this track in the city , my last track off of edinger was generating a 1000.00 every saturday….we are trying to get this opened by october…..

  10. Skateboards are far more affordable for the “troubled” youth you are speaking of. Rc cars are a waste of our gas, and require beer to enjoy. Thus equalling drunk drivers, another thing we don’t need. Ask pro skateboarder rob dyrdek, he has funded 2 or more skate parks in la area that are a great success. And built to the best specifications!

  11. Any new info regarding a skatepark at this location? There could be lesson given to children on how to skate. A great non profit idea

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