Camarillo, Calif., Oct. 1, 2013 – Plans for a 367-acre community park on the campus of CSU Channel Islands (CI) will move forward, following an in-depth study and recommendation by an independent consultant.

In a 56-page Needs Assessment Report, Rincon Consultants, Inc., a leading California environmental consulting and engineering firm supports CI's Program of Utilization (POU) for University Park. The POU, submitted to the National Park Service by CI in 2007, outlines plans for a multi-use regional educational and recreational area open to the public. The proposal aims to preserve portions of the property as open space and wildlife habitat while providing community access, hiking trails, open spaces and facilities for recreation, and educational programs for students and visitors.

The Rincon Consultants' recommendation is the result of an in-depth analysis and discussion with community and campus constituents. CI hired the firm to help engage community input, clarify park functions, explore alternative land management models, and evaluate whether the planned uses of the park meet both University goals and accommodate the public. As part of the study, the group conducted a series of meetings and focus groups with community members, campus constituents and recreational clubs with a special interest in the park.

"We are delighted to be able to move forward to create a welcoming space on the CI campus for everyone to explore and enjoy," said CI President Richard R. Rush. "University Park represents a powerful opportunity for a collaborative partnership between CI and the surrounding community. We will continue working together to create a spectacular park where we can gather for recreation, conservation and education."

The University plans to immediately pursue viable funding and partnerships as well as begin development of a Master Plan for University Park. Other initiatives include providing a safe place for outdoor recreational experiences and hosting public events, such as guided field trips in partnership with local schools and/or non-profit organizations, that promote science-based environmental stewardship.

The complete Needs Assessment Report can be accessed by visiting http://www.csuci.edu/cipark/index.htm.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.