Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

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. 

Santa Ana Lawn Bowling Club Officers

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?

By Editor

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

14 thoughts on “Is lawn bowling still relevant to the people of Santa Ana?”
  1. When I was in the AYSO (Santa Ana), most of the board members were white too. (Like me). These were people who would make time to do the required jobs to keep the league in business.

  2. Cook,

    Here is the current list of AYSO board members for the Santa Ana area (note most of them are Latino, like our population):

    Region 517 Board of Directors for the 2009 Season

    Regional Commissioner:
    Rudy Cordova

    Treasurer :
    Jackie Carrasco

    Risk Management / Safety Director :
    Jackie Carrasco

    C.V.P.A. :
    Rick Niedermayer

    Registrar :
    Jackie Cordova

    Coach Administrator :
    Ralph Dominguez

    Secretary :
    Heidi Galaviz

    Trophy Coordinator :
    Heidi Galaviz

    Referee Administrator:
    Omar Dominguez

    Fund Raiser Coordinator:
    Ana Mazariegos

    Uniforms & Equip. Coordinator:
    Rick Niedermayer

    Fields Coordinator:
    Frank Parra

    V I P Coordinator:
    Lydia Parra

    Picture Day Coordinator:
    Lydia Parra

    Sponsor Coordinator :
    Sal Aguirre

    Snack Bar Coordinator / Team Moms Coordinator :
    Regina Aguirre

    Gabriel Esquivel

  3. I agree with this post. Santa Ana must purge itself of all things that are not of interest to Mexicans and replace them with things that are popular with Mexicans. (See list below)

    So out with all those things that used to interst Anglos when they lived here, and in with more Mexican stuff!

  4. Mr. Pedroza Are “latinos”no smart enought to learn English and also learn a sport that have being here in this city for very long time?. How racist are you?.When we are that ones who move from our ariginal country is necessary to “asimilate”local’s culture or at least to respect their sports, holidays and tradictions,no?.Does not matter how small or big this gruop is,or what color their skin is. I believe respect goes in both ways. Another etnicities like asian are more in the mode to “asimilate and learn”this new culture ,lenguage and so on without losing their own!.

  5. Freedom. Apparently you weren’t smart enough to learn how to spell. You spelling is disgraceful.

  6. I’m not sure what AYSO has to do with this whole issue, but here’s my experience with AYSO so far. It appears that if you only speak English and live in Santa Ana, the only available AYSO teams are in Tustin, Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be possible to join AYSO in Santa Ana, but good luck finding it. I’m under the assumption that they probably advertise in Spanish since Google searches only led me to a place where I would sign my son up in Tustin. Is the AYSO organization that I couldn’t find with a search that are located in Santa Ana accepting of my English speaking son who is also fairly close to becoming bilingual due to his attendance at El Sol? I find it very curious that it is so difficult to locate information about AYSO in Santa Ana. Now that I at least have a Region number, I’ll have to check it out.

  7. A dog park sounds like a really great idea. Everyone can bring out their unlicensed pit bulls and fight them on the lawns where people used to bowl. That will be great fun (and a lot more relevant to the Santa Ana residents than lawn bowling) although the lawns won’t have that manicured look anymore.

    And judging by the pictures in the article of the signs, maybe the city should erect some more walls too so all those fine Santa Ana taggers have more places to put their graffiti. That type of relevant free expression will really class up the park and those little signs the lawn bowlers put up just don’t do the trick. It’s funny how the author drones on about the signs being in English and doesn’t mention the graffiti once. I guess that they don’t have a problem with the graffiti just the signs.

    Maybe @Freedom can’t spell very well but they sure can read between the lines, the author of the article is obviously racist. Maybe @Keep Santa Ana Mexican summed up the author’s message correctly, get rid of everything Anglo in Santa Ana and only allow things that are popular with Mexicans. Well I guess I’ve said enough. Time to go have a Bud Light and watch some soccer on TV.

  8. I am a lawn bowler. We have a mix of ethnicity in our “Lawn Bowling. Everyone is welcome to learn to Lawn Bowl. English is what I had to learn when I was growing up and going to school in Texas. My father was born in Mexico. He told us (three children)that he came here to give us a good home and education. When we came home from school and we would speak Spanish he would say “No, you speak English now and you help your mother and I to speak English”. My mom and Dad had to learn English before they could get there United States Citizenship. When they received their Citizenship, we had a wonderful party with our relatives and neighbors who were Black Americans, Chinese and Latinos; they were all very proud that my mom & Dad received there citizenship. There was a lot of eating (different food brought by our neighbors), and dancing. That was over 70 years ago, Oh how things have changed. However we have gotten a very good education. We even have a politician in the family. I myself with a degree, had a good job with an Aerospace Company and had a Secret Clearance for the work that I did. I am proud to be an American living in Santa Ana. We have a mix of ethnicity in our neighborhood and they all are Wonderful people. I guess I have said enough I will go have my cup of tea and read the newspaper. Come on down and join us on the rinks, you may even like us. And by the way, most of us have dogs.

  9. Mary,

    Take a look at the uncivil, racist comments left by your fellow lawn bowlers. Trust me, many have noticed their tone.

    I have no problem with lawn bowlers or lawn bowling, save for the fact that it is a dying sport and few people in Santa Ana are engaged in it.

    A dog park at the Santiago Park lawn bowling green would easily serve thousands of our residents. I cannot say that for the current use.

    I too grew up speaking Spanish. I make good coin teaching in Spanish today. We are a city of immigrants and we should be respectful of those who cannot read English. At bare minimum, signs at our parks should be in Spanish and English.

  10. Dog parks are a good thing. Lawn bowls is a wonderful sport. Why swop one for the other? Surely Santa Ana as more imagination and creativity than that.

  11. Roy,

    Santa Ana is broke. We are in debt to the tune of some forty million dollars.

    What makes the lawn bowling center attractive is that we can transform it into a dog park at a cost of perhaps one to two thousand dollars.

    What you need to do is contact O.C. Supervisor Janet Nguyen and ask her to open an Orange County lawn bowling center, on County property. Her email address is She is the Chairman of the O.C. Board of Supervisors. Her district includes Garden Grove and much of Little Saigon.

  12. You may want to check out the Costa Mesa dog park and the one the Tustin Ave and Chapman in Orange. At one time they had green grass and a good field, now after going “dog” they are dirt lots.

    Irvine may be diff, but the home owners there pay double the property tax rates for better parks and stuff.

    Is there a reason that the police dog park on the other side of the river cant be used?

  13. Cook,

    Why inconvenience Santa Ana residents? The lawn bowling area is ideal for a dog park.

    We have already established that our residents don’t partake of lawn bowling. I don’t see a reason to continue that use.

    I don’t see why we should be paying to entertain folks who don’t live in our city.

    Lastly, we can maintain our grass better than Costa Mesa did. They opted to let their grass die. We won’t.

    Our city and our residents will gain a lot more benefit from a dog park versus the current use of that area.

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