Bird Rock residents overhaul Forward Street overlook

As a gift to the community — and the tourists, surfers, stroller-pushing walkers, break-takers and others who visit the Forward Street overlook in Bird Rock — two residents took it upon themselves to spruce up the area, and recently celebrated their efforts.

Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) Coastal Overlooks Committee members Joyce Snell and Trish Savage fundraised, planned and contracted for the improvements, which include new plants, laying cement and decorative pebbles in the ground where there was previously only dirt, and placement of a decorative cigarette-butt container.

“We just wanted to take care of our little park at the end of Forward Street,” Snell told La Jolla Light. “We get about 100 people a week there and that includes tourists, people from (the nearby) Starbucks who want to sit and enjoy their coffee or lunch, surfers, nannies with children, people taking pictures or watching the sunset.”

Savage added: “We wanted to make it nice for people. People come down there every day, and to look at what had become an eyesore was too much.”

The longtime residents reached out to neighbors Michael and Margaret Grossman, and Mary Bohl for donations to pay for the supplies and contractor to carry out the upgrades. After several meeting’s worth of planning, the two bought new plants, top soil and pebbles to embed in the new cement, and hauled everything to the site.

Over the course of an early November weekend, cement was laid over the dirt and new vegetation was planted, and the two said they will take turns watering the new plants to get them established.

“There were also cigarette butts everywhere, so I took an old planter, painted it and filled it with sand, and now we have a container,” Snell said. “People have told us how nice it looks. We’re pretty proud of it.”

All that’s left is for the City to replace the bench at the overlook, and replace the blue trash can lid with a sandy-colored one, similar to those along the coast throughout La Jolla.

And while the duo encourage those who live near an overlook in need of care to also step up to the task, Coastal Overlooks Committee co-chair Don Schmidt told the Light that the City is not entirely off the hook. “It’s the City’s responsibility to take care of these overlooks because they are City property,” he said. “But we needed to do something, so (Snell and Savage) cleaned it up as a stop-gap until the City can come in. What they accomplished looks great.”

Schmidt co-chairs Coastal Overlooks Committee with Bird Rock resident Mary Lynn Hyde and La Jolla Parks & Beaches member Melinda Merryweather. Collectively, they plan to inventory public overlooks from Tourmaline State Beach to La Jolla Farms and determine what the needs are at each.

Schmidt previously told the Light the Committee’s long-term goal is to “work with the community and the City to find permanent solutions for maintaining these areas in perpetuity.” There is also some discussion of having some of the overlooks and view-accesses become dedicated pocket parks.

In the meantime, Snell and Savage plan to hang wreaths on the Forward Street overlook for the holidays. <end_bug_diamond>