The park land is a 367 acre parcel located off Lewis Road separate but adjacent to the main academic campus. In 2009 the land was acquired by the University from the County of Ventura.
The topography of the park includes steep mountain slopes of coastal sage and southern cactus scrub, wetlands and riparian habitat, and two small valleys. Calleguas Creek flows along the northern border of the park.
History of the land
Artifacts and studies have determined that the region has been occupied by the Chumash people for over 9,000 years. In the aftermath of the Mexican-American War (1848), what is now the state of California was ceded to the United States. In 1873, the United States of America granted to Ysabel Yorda a potion of what was known as the Rancho Guadalasca. Over time the Rancho was further broken down and sold to investors. In 1932, PROPERTIES INC. sold a large parcel of land to the State of California in order to build the Camarillo State Hospital. The park was a part of that parcel and once served the hospital facility by producing crops, and housing livestock, which fed the community. The Trustees of the California State University acquired the land from the County of Ventura in 2009. Prior to the acquisition, the County had acquired three separate parcels of land which now make up the park. One 236-acre parcel was acquired from the Federal Government through the “Federal Lands to Parks Program.” As a requirement for acquisition, the CSU Channel Islands campus submitted a “Program of Utilization” which serves as the framework to guide Master Planning.
The following key elements provide the framework upon which the vision and concept for the park’s future development will be constructed
The University’s long term goal is to provide a robust array of educational opportunities designed to meet a wide spectrum of educational needs and interests.
Specifically, restoration projects will provide educational opportunities, but will also be designed to address the overarching goal of restoring and improving the health of the many facets of the ecosystem.
The park will remain perpetually accessible for passive recreational uses for all. Recreation options will be developed keeping the sensitive wildlife habitat and the goals of protection and restoration of the park’s natural resources at the core.
Key areas of the property will be preserved and managed as natural opens space for the protection of native species. Some of these areas may also support passive recreational uses.