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Inaugural Enhance La Jolla Day draws volunteers to The Village for ‘renewal and revitalization’

Volunteers placed rocks and new plants in tree wells in The Village on Enhance La Jolla Day on March 20.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

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

The inaugural event March 20, called Enhance La Jolla Day, was planned as a “work day” to freshen tree wells in The Village, said Ed Witt, president of Enhance La Jolla, which administers the Maintenance Assessment District for The Village and spearheaded the day’s efforts.

Enhance La Jolla board members, with San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava (in dark jacket)
Enhance La Jolla board members, with San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava (in dark jacket), stand next to one of the tree wells refreshed on Enhance La Jolla Day.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

“We decided to do a first-day-of-spring spruce-up,” Witt said, in which volunteers placed new plants and rocks in tree wells on the east side of Girard Avenue and along Wall Street.

Witt said the west side of Girard will get similar work beginning next month.

As plans for the day progressed, it “took on a life of its own,” he said, with more than 10 other nonprofit organizations and La Jolla groups hosting booths on Girard at Silverado Street and offering information to those in attendance.

“They wanted to be part of this as well so community members can talk to others that work so hard to make La Jolla a better place to live, work and play,” Witt said.

City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said “this level of cooperation among all the organizations is really nice to see.”

He called the day one of “renewal and revitalization,” not only because it was the beginning of spring but also because it came a few days after San Diego County entered the red tier of the state’s coronavirus reopening system, easing some pandemic-related restrictions.

“To have an Enhance La Jolla Day is a perfect capstone,” LaCava said. “It portends about refreshing The Village, spring, just every aspect of that. We hope the retailers and the restaurants have managed to survive the pandemic. We’ll see more people walking around; they’ll start to notice it looks a little nicer now.”

Claudia Baranowski, president of La Jolla Parks & Beaches, said: “We wanted to be part of this inaugural event. We are handing out little trash bags … you can carry it in your pocket and take your trash with you.”

La Jolla Shores Association President Janie Emerson (left) and La Jolla Parks & Beaches President Claudia Baranowski
La Jolla Shores Association President Janie Emerson (left) and La Jolla Parks & Beaches President Claudia Baranowski show their organizations’ Enhance La Jolla Day offerings: a bookmark and trash bags.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The La Jolla Shores Association gave out bookmarks with information about the Map of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla Educational Plaza, which was completed in October at Kellogg Park to educate visitors about the creatures and canyons just offshore.

Daniel Johnson of the Urban Corps of San Diego County, a nonprofit that helps people ages 18-26 in underserved communities complete their high school diplomas and find work, said his organization does the power washing of sidewalks in business and residential areas for the Maintenance Assessment District. “We’re out here often,” he said.

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)

Alexis McPherson of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association said LJVMA participated in Enhance La Jolla Day to inform people about the organization’s activities. “Our main goal is to bring business to La Jolla,” McPherson said.

Other groups included St. Germain Children’s Charity, La Jolla Town Council, Rotary Club of La Jolla, La Jolla Community Planning Association, National League of Young Men and La Jolla Community Foundation.

Witt said Enhance La Jolla plans to make it an annual event “so people can meet the different groups and understand what it’s all about and how we work together here.” ◆