January, 2020 - Issue #184

"Santa Clarita is a STRONG, tight-knit and family-oriented community that rallies around neighbors that are hurting."
Q: What are you looking forward to in 2020?
This will be a big year in Santa Clarita. It marks the end of our Santa Clarita 2020 Strategic Plan. We will be wrapping up some of the key projects and nearing completion on several others. The first one that we will cut the ribbon on is the new inclusive play area at Canyon Country Park. This new playground is accessible to people of all abilities. Designed with a Wild West theme, the 8,500-square-foot play area includes inclusive swings, sensory activity features, accessibility for mobility devices, music and auditory play, an inclusive zip line and much more. Many of these features were selected and incorporated based on community input. Several community meetings were held so residents could express to planners their hopes and ideas for the park. In addition to the play equipment, upgrades also include a shade structure, new seating areas for children and adults, new landscaping, accessible connections to existing facilities, including the preschool building, restrooms, picnic shelter, walkways, trails and additional parking.

This year the city will also make great strides in two of our landmark projects - the new Canyon Country Community Center and the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Both projects are currently under construction and will open their doors in 2021.

Q. This time of year usually brings winter storms.
What is your advice to residents to prepare for the rain?

We know we need the rain, but it can bring with it dangerous road conditions, possibilities for mudslides and flooding. As a city, we do what we can to reduce the impact heavy rains may have on our landscape, parks, open spaces, streets, your homes and businesses in Santa Clarita. City staff is already working on preventive measures, such as clearing storm drains, conducting city facility inspections, removing problematic trees and clearing debris on the streets. Street sweeping is conducted weekly in the winter to help minimize impacts to the storm drain system. You should take the time to make sure your home is rain ready. Clear out all drains and rain gutters. If you have a rain barrel, check to make sure that the downspouts are clear of debris. It would also be a good idea to check your roof for any holes or loose tiles. During the rain, be aware of roadway warnings and hazards while driving. If you see a flooded area, please do not walk or drive through it. Just a few inches of water can sweep you off your feet. Keep away from downed power lines and electrical wires as well. In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1. Learn more safety tips and find out what you should do before, during and after heavy rains by visiting the Ready for Rain website at

Q. As we look back on 2019, and the tragedies that we faced as a community, what are some of your takeaways?
As a city, we faced a devastating fire that took homes on the eastern side of Santa Clarita, followed by the tragic shooting at Saugus High School that stole young lives. These events took an unimaginable and indescribable toll on our community. What I take from these heartbreaking incidents is the incredible unity and displays of support and love that shone through in the aftermath. Santa Clarita is a strong, tight-knit and family-oriented community that rallies around neighbors that are hurting. This was seen in the posters placed in the front yards of fire-ravaged homes and in the tens of thousands of people who turned out to show support for those hurting at the Saugus Strong Vigil. Our city is resilient, our residents care for one another and Santa Clarita won't be defined by the tragedies that took place here - we will be defined as the community that stood united in the face of pain and grew stronger and closer.
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