Mud Doing What Fire Couldn’t – But Students Win SMMUSD Promise To Restore Fields NOW

Written by on February 8, 2019

First it was a fire that destroyed their homes … then a loss of five weeks of school.

Now … kids at Malibu High School are dealing with the loss of their home fields.

The school’s athletics fields are drowning in mud …. ash and rocks … washing onto the grass and tennis courts.

The school board got an earful last night … student and Amelia Goudzwaard wore her softball uniform.


“The rains and mudslides from Malibu Park and other burned out areas have spread onto the MHS baseball and softball fields.

“Wiping out and literally destroying with at last 10 inches of mud.

“At first, our fields started to be getting cleaned up by the SMMUSD school district.

“But now the team and I have been informed that the fields will not be cleaned up until the rain stops, which likely will not be until the middle of the regular session.”

Baseball player Max Gordon told the board that the district has simply failed.


“To see it gone, and to see the poor measures taken to prevent mudlsides …

“I understand that it can happen one time, and it can be cleaned up, for it to be, for such subpar prevention for the second wave of rains that we knew were coming was absurd and disastrous.”

School board members were technically not allowed to make a decision on the issue … because it was not on the agenda and the state does not allow decisions on matters that are not  announced in advance.

But that didn’t stop a strong message to come from the board to the superintendent…’

Get the mud off the fields … keep the mud off the fields during the rains next week … and come up with a plan to divert the mud permanently.

Superintendent Ben Drati:


“I want the community to understand, i want the students to understand, I understand the importance of athletics.

“You have a superintendent, and a staff. who understands it.

“You have a community that is scared: do they want to come back to Malibu High or not.

“We are doing our best to make sure that families feel comfortable coming back.”

But keeping that promise to keep the fields usable may be easier said than done.

Drainages are choked with dirt… and hillsides are shedding tons of mud every time it rains.

The entire Malibu Park subdivision has massive drainage problems now.

City officials are working with the LA County Department of Public Works to come up with temporary and long range plans for the 450 houses in MAlibu’s largest neighborhood … where nearly 200 structure burned during the Woolsey Fire.

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