Acquired in 1925, Dwight Murphy Field was formerly known as the Municipal Soccer Field. Today it still serves as the City’s only dedicated soccer facility. Other amenities at Dwight Murphy Field include a playground, softball field, parking lot, and restroom. An outdoor fitness area is also located at the southern edge of the park.
Similar to Ortega Park and other public spaces managed by the City, Dwight Murphy Field suffers from public misuse. Showers, changing facilities, and a concessionaire stand constructed adjacent to the soccer field in 1969 are no longer operational and the building is closed to the public. This set of buildings creates a visual barrier from more visible portions of the park, which contributes to frequent misuse behaviors behind the buildings. Although recent efforts by the Department to limit illegal camping areas have shown positive results, the vacant shower and concessionaire building needs to be removed or repurposed and the site better integrated into the sports field and playground areas.
The proposed master planning of Dwight Murphy Field will optimize the use of sports field space, develop a concept plan for a fully accessible playground, and redesign the restroom and defunct shower and concessionaire facilities. Key to maximizing use of the sports fields is an evaluation of replacing the natural turf with artificial turf to accommodate additional playing area. Ball field and security lighting will also be evaluated. New picnic facilities, landscape renovation, replacement of the adult fitness equipment, and improved park entries are also envisioned as part of the master plan development. These improvements will better position the City to provide much needed sports field facilities and an inclusive playground for residents and visitors.
In late 2016, the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (the GSF), a local non-profit dedicated to increasing global awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, contacted the Department to explore the opportunity to develop a universally accessible playground in a City park. A universally accessible playground is a space designed to remove physical barriers to allow children of all abilities to play side-by-side. The Department evaluated potential sites throughout the City’s parks inventory and Dwight Murphy Field is the best location due its dedicated parking and onsite restroom facilities. The master planning for Dwight Murphy Field will include conceptual design of the universally accessible playground and supporting amenities. The GSF has indicated its support to pursue funding for the construction of a universally accessible playground and other park improvements at Dwight Murphy Field.
Survey: Outdoor Fitness at Dwight Murphy Field
Please take our online survey by July 20 to give us a better idea of what the Dwight Murphy fitness community has in mind for the new fitness area.Take the Survey in English
Public Meeting: Outdoor Fitness at Dwight Murphy Field
July 22, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
At Dwight Murphy Field
To further refine park improvements at Dwight Murphy Field, as outlined in the Dwight Murphy Field Master Plan, as an outdoor fitness stakeholder we value your opinion with the selection of the equipment for the new fitness area.
Please join us at the park on July 22 at 6:00 p.m. to review options and hear from Parks and Rec staff about what's coming up for the Dwight Murphy Field improvement project.
Public Meeting: Project and Playground Update at Dwight Murphy Field
July 29, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
At Dwight Murphy Field
If you're looking for a way to spend your Thursday evening on July 29, we have just the public meeting for you. One of Santa Barbara's most exciting upcoming projects is the Dwight Murphy Field Improvement Project. Inspired by ideas and feedback during a fruitful public engagement process, this park will have it all: an outdoor fitness area, a regulation-size soccer field (Santa Barbara's first and only!), a well-lit softball field, water- and maintenance-saving artificial turf made from natural materials, and Gwendolyn's Playground—an inclusive playground for all abilities we think looks like a wonderland. And, when you visit the park you'll have the scenic ocean view, convenient restrooms, beautiful landscaping and trees, AND easy parking. Let Parks and Rec Department project planners tell you all about it on July 29 at 6:00 p.m.
Meet us in the park (Ninos Drive and Por La Mar, but you can put 501 Ninos Drive into your navigation app).