Community concerned about vandalism, delayed repair; Rec Foundation puts out online petition

TEMPLETON — Over the last month, parents and residents, including the Templeton Recreation Foundation, have raised concerns about the current condition of Templeton Park’s play structure. Repairs and replacements on some of the damaged or vandalized equipment started six months ago, but due to manufacturer issues and not being able to find all the replacement parts, parts of the beloved structure are boarded up and unable to be used by the community’s children and their families.

“This actually started over six months ago,” said District 1 Supervisor and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors John Peschong. “The Parks Department here in San Luis Obispo County saw that one of the slides, I think there’s four or five slides on the park structure, one of the slides, the curly cue one, had some damage. It looked like from wear, you know it had gotten old. So they ordered a new slide. That happened six months ago. We’re waiting for that slide; it’s been manufactured, and it’s being trucked to California.” 

On top of the slide replacement, which the county hopes happens within the next month, the bridge between the two structures at the park was also vandalized around six months ago. The plexiglass bubbles were kicked out, leaving the county no choice but to board the area up with plywood to keep kids safe. 


“We can’t seem to find the plexiglass bubbles, but we’re trying to figure out if we can do it with maybe just plexiglass across them or something like that. We are working on that,” continued Peschong.

Peschong added that the park and the play structure had experienced a heavy dose of vandalism over the last year. On Monday, Aug. 21, the bathrooms right next to the structure were vandalized with graffiti, and the bathrooms needed to be fully repainted to cover up the damage done. 

“The structure itself meets all safety guidelines that the county has,” Peschong added about the play structure.

On Aug. 14, The Templeton Recreation Foundation put together a petition online about renovating the park. As of Aug. 29, they have 747 signatures out of their current goal of 1,000. You can find the petition here:

“The ongoing concern is the county has been replacing as they can, but parts are either on backorder or just no longer exist because the park is over, I think, over 25 years old,” said Templeton Recreation Foundation board member and creator of the petition Khouloud Pearson. “And so it’s not replaceable. The current practice has been to take away, to dismantle, to kind of band-aid fix, but there hasn’t really been any talk to renovate or modernize the park, even though it is kind of the heart and center of Templeton.” 

Some parents in Templeton even took it upon themselves to email Peschong and the Parks and Recreation Department. Pearson added that there was never any indication in responses that the park would be updated, causing frustration among parents and other community members. 

She added that she knows it always goes back to funds, and the Foundation realizes that there might need to be fundraising on their end to help with the end goal, which the Foundation would like to see as a completely new play structure. 

“The petition was mostly to generate the interest and to display to the county that there are people that are invested in our park and in our play structure and that it’s a priority to us and it should be a priority to them,” continued Pearson.

On Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m., there was a Town Hall meeting in Templeton where close to 15 residents met with Peschong, who said that he would add the park to his list to discuss when the County’s 2023-24 Fiscal Year is discussed later this year.

“In talking with the community, there is a thought behind them raising some additional revenue for the county,” Peschong said. “We don’t have a lot of money here at the county, but I’d certainly be willing to pitch in some of my community funds to try to help purchase some equipment. But that equipment that we have in there is pretty expensive stuff. These playground structures are very expensive for municipalities.” 

The Templeton Recreation Foundation has plans to set up a GoFundMe page in the near future and also plans on holding a couple of fundraising events later this year. And both Pearson and Peschong mentioned the Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber of Commerce holding an event in October, where proceeds will go towards the park’s renovation.

“We’re willing to work with fundraising because, obviously, we want the best park that money can buy for Templeton, but we also want the county to step forward with some funds or a commitment in their budget to contribute as well,” concluded Pearson.

Feature Image:  A board sits at the bottom of a slide waiting to be replaced at Templeton Park. Parents and residents have raised concerns over the past month about the current condition of Templeton Park’s play structure. Photo by Christianna Marks