While 85 percent of Oak Park’s open space, including beloved Oak Canyon Park, reportedly burned in the recent fires, much of our park property—including the community center—is open and operational.
The Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District (RSRPD) has been diligent in their can-do attitude to reopen as soon as possible, and ensuring public safety is a top priority. Our park crews have done an incredible amount of work to revitalize the area. This includes dealing with hazards, brush clearing and preparation for water flow on denuded hillsides to alleviate damage from future rains.
Our heartfelt thanks go to the all of those who fought the fire and to all of those who immedi- ately responded in support of our community to begin the recovery efforts. They are local superheroes and, thankfully, saved the majority of our homes. Our park service staff also deserves gratitude for their tireless work in making Oak Park beautiful and safe.
We hope to restore our neighborhood parkland’s scenic splendor quickly. Your district staff, crew and Oak Park Advisory Committee are all dedicated to bringing back that beauty. To quote District Manager Dan Paranick at our last advisory committee meeting, “We plan to make it even better than before.”
We, in Oak Park, are fortunate to be part of a much larger park district. If Oak Park had its own independent park service, the recovery might be difficult to achieve. Because Oak Park joins with Simi Valley to make up RSRPD, our combined resources allow us to rebuild even faster.
We are developing park plans to share our rich community spirit, adding opportunities for volunteering. Additionally, we want to host more events at neighborhood parks, highlighting their facilities.
In the meantime, we appreciate your patience, knowing we are dedicating extensive efforts to restore all facilities. When you see one of the hardworking RSRPD staff or crew, please thank them for their dedication. It’s time to acknowledge their outstanding work behind the scenes for our community’s betterment.
James Ebert, Drew Fountaine, Harry Medved
Oak Park residents and members of the Oak Park Advisory Committee to Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks District.