Saturday, May 10, 2014

Save Toro Park

Cross country coaches and fans,
Some of you may have heard but there are plans moving forward for a private sports complex at Toro Park in Salinas. We currently use Toro Park for many of our cross country events and specifically, we at North Monterey County HS, use it to host the annual Earlybird Invitational. We started this event 20 years ago with a modest handful of local teams and we used to host it here on campus until we lost the use of the land behind the track (that’s another story all together). Anyway, the event has grown to be one of the largest meets in the central part of California and we now host over 75 schools and more than 2,500 runners each year.  This year will be our 20th Anniversary edition. With the complex proposition we risk losing the park for major running events and I really have no idea what we would do. Earlybird may need to be cancelled.  Currently the CCS Championships are held there every other year and if we indeed lose the park we will lose that site for championship events. Local leagues use the park yearly for their championships and may also need to re-locate. This decision could affect thousands of high school runners that use the park on a yearly basis.
Anyway, we obviously are hoping that the developers have a change of heart or that the people making the decisions to approve the project consider the effects on the running community as well as the loss of open public space in a beautiful county park.
Here is an editorial by a Michael Dove, a local running guru, who explains it better than I can.
If any of you would like to help keep Toro Park the way it is, for whatever reason, please send an email to the following emails. 


Anonymous said...

Also was the Coast Conference Championship course for the Junior college level.

Anonymous said...

The running community should try to work with the project proponents so that both parties get what they need. The construction schedule should not impact the XC season and the resulting improvements should be configured so that the start and finish areas are not adversely impacted. Can we appoint a representative to work in good faith?

Anonymous said...

We have been working with the developer but it seems like their plans are not going to change much... the main sticking point is a proposed back stop that will be placed on the first turn area blocking the turn plus part of the finish trail... lots of steam is also picking up from many groups that don't want the change at all so we shall see what happens... there is a Facebook page "Save Toro Park" that you can check out for more info and see who's involved... you can like that page and send it to your friends that you may want to involve...
Coach Ibarra

Anonymous said...

There's tons of space in Salinas and old Fort Ord. Why not there? Why turf a regional park that is open space? And does the community there really want this in their back yard?

I'm not a fan of Torro Park for a Championship course. It has an awful first turn, too narrow, too much pavement and the hill, while difficult, is too steep on the downhill. That said it would be a crime to throw in a turf field. It is a shame what our society has come to.

My guess is the developer has already donated money to the city councils reelection. This will be moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Toro Park is a public park for all to enjoy, besides the running community. It is beyond reason to just accept it becoming a softball complex and overtaking the public park for Private utilization. No more family picnics, birthday celebrations, or Quiet enjoyment, the tournaments will cease it resembling a park at all. Who is on the hook for the maintenance, utilities, repairs, vandalism. You will get lip service so that it can get pushed through and then afterwards you will have no recourse - don't listen to the words - go by what action has ALREADY occurred. Go by what they have DONE not what they say...SAVE TORO PARK can play ball lots of places, you can't go to another park like TORO.

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