Guest commentary: MAD works to keep La Jolla looking good while preparing for more visitors

For details about Enhance La Jolla and the Maintenance Assessment District, visit
For details about Enhance La Jolla and the Maintenance Assessment District, visit

As we headed into spring, the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District held meetings with the San Diego Parks & Recreation and Environmental Services departments to ensure effective communication and collaboration ahead of an anticipated increase in visitors to the district and the janitorial and maintenance activities necessary to ensure an enjoyable environment.

On March 30, LJMAD representatives met with the city code enforcement division to discuss further consolidation of newsstands in public right-of-way areas. In 2020, the MAD worked with the city and newsstand owners to remove 26 abandoned newsstands. The current objective is to reduce redundancies and improve the appearance of the 70 remaining newsstands throughout the district.

Routine daily, weekly and monthly janitorial and maintenance activities continue, with the LJMAD landscaping vendor trimming excess vegetation and removing weeds and other invasive plants from sidewalks and tree wells.

In addition to daily litter collection, sidewalk pressure-washing continues three times per week. Pressure-washing of the interior and
exterior of all 42 public trash receptacles in the district was completed in March.

The first day of spring, March 20, was marked by Enhance La Jolla Day. The inaugural neighborhood event took place on Girard Avenue and involved a community improvement project by LJMAD’s landscaping vendor, Nissho of California. Volunteers placed groundcover in more than 20 tree wells, and there was an information area where members of the public had the opportunity to meet with representatives of various community groups to learn about the organizations and their contributions to La Jolla.

The first day of spring saw a group of about 50 people, many in matching shirts, gathered to help enhance La Jolla.

By the end of Enhance La Jolla Day, 10 cubic yards — or 25,000 pounds — of Arizona river rock and 56 iris plants had been installed in tree wells along Girard Avenue between Prospect Street and the district’s southernmost boundary past Torrey Pines Road, and on the 1000 block of Wall Street.

This accomplishment was made even more impressive by the fact that all rocks, liner fabric and heavy equipment were donated by KRC Rock, Imperial Sprinkler Supply, Sunbelt Rentals and Nissho.

Several tree wells like this one on Girard Avenue were refreshed with new rocks and plants during Enhance La Jolla Day.
Several tree wells like this one on Girard Avenue were refreshed with new rocks and plants (some plants were there previously) during Enhance La Jolla Day on March 20.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Enhance La Jolla Day was truly a community effort, from the support of the Rev. Pat Mulcahy at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, who provided use of the parish’s tables and chairs for the community information area, to Peter Schumacher and the Brick & Bell team, who donated coffee and scones for volunteers.

Special thanks to these organizations that made Enhance La Jolla Day a success: Enhance La Jolla, La Jolla Community Foundation, La Jolla Village Merchants Association, city of San Diego District 1, La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Parks & Beaches, La Jolla Community Planning Association, La Jolla Shores Association, Rotary Club of La Jolla, Village Garden Club of La Jolla, National League of Young Men, Urban Corps and Nissho of California.

The next Enhance La Jolla board of directors meeting will take place Thursday, April 15, at 4 p.m. online. Advance registration is required. Visit for more information.

If you see an issue needing attention in the district, please call Enhance La Jolla at (858) 444-5892 or email

Mary Montgomery is district manager for the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District.