Shores group approves plans to spruce up area parks

A proposal to beautify the entrance to Cliffridge Park passed the La Jolla Shores Association.
A proposal to beautify the entrance to Cliffridge Park passed the La Jolla Shores Association.
(Courtesy of Trace Wilson)

The La Jolla Shores Association unanimously approved motions to beautify or clean up land in the area.

During its virtual meeting Jan. 12, the group first greenlighted a proposal to improve the landscaping at Cliffridge Park.

The project, presented by La Jolla resident and architect Trace Wilson, is a collaboration with La Jolla Youth Baseball and its president, Scott Blumenthal, “to make Cliffridge Park first class,” Wilson said.

Wilson shared designs to improve the park’s front entryway as the first phase of the project, including new plants, trees and boulders and a replacement of an older sea shipping container for storage that would bear new logos and graphics welcoming people to the park.

The project also would install new poles for the American, California and baseball league flags and a “painted donor wall,” Wilson said.

He said the initial phase would precede “an overall larger effort to improve all of the ball fields … as we raise funds for new fencing, new dugouts, etc.”

Since the entrance to the park is across from Torrey Pines Elementary School on Cliffridge Avenue, Wilson said he spoke with and received support from the school’s principal, Nona Richard.

The project would be privately funded, Wilson said, though plans are being reviewed by San Diego Parks & Recreation Department Director Andy Field.

LJSA board member Pam Boynton said she supports the proposal. “Having been up there recently on the cul-de-sac, it is pretty pitiful now. This rendering looks beautiful,” she said.

Later, LJSA approved payment of a final invoice from the city for irrigation surrounding new trees in Kellogg Park.

The trees are scheduled to be planted Wednesday, Jan. 19, after many delays. The initial project began in 2019 with a donation from Sunrise Rotary to replace trees lost in Kellogg Park.

Parks & Rec originally agreed to pay for the irrigation for the trees but ran out of money. Leftover money from the Rotary donation, plus a donation from Shores resident Bill Allen, will cover the irrigation costs.

LJSA President Janie Emerson said this would be the final invoice from the city before the trees are planted.

Next, the group approved an action by LJSA’s executive officers to allow the nonprofit San Diego Canyonlands to begin cleaning out Pottery Canyon.

In November, LJSA approved the efforts of a committee to raise $100,000 for the cleanup and rehabilitation project, which is intended to eliminate dead trees and brush believed to pose a fire hazard in Pottery Canyon, a natural park that falls within the boundaries of La Jolla Shores. It also would remove invasive plant species and restore native species.

The project is time-sensitive, Emerson said, because the initial stage of cleanup must be performed by March 1 before the breeding season for protected species begins.

The La Jolla Shores Association discusses beautification projects and more at its Jan. 12 meeting online.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Other LJSA news

Safety: Lt. Lonnie Stephens of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said lifeguards have been training weekly during the winter “to keep our skills sharpened.”

Stephens said the department also is gearing up for spring break, which begins at the end of February, when “we start seeing people traveling from around the country [to] La Jolla Shores and all the La Jolla beaches.”

“We’ve had a lot of retirements in the lifeguard division, which means we’ve also had quite a few promotions,” he added. “So you’re going to see a few new permanent lifeguards … in the La Jolla area.”

San Diego police Lt. Rick Aguilar said the Police Department’s Northern Division also is preparing for spring break. “We’ll have our beach teams out there,” he said, with a daytime team working from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and taking on overtime “to address any quality-of-life issues that we see along the beaches.”

Citing rising concerns about traffic safety and a recent rollover crash in which a man was killed on North Torrey Pines Road, Aguilar said the department has “three officers who volunteered to come in on overtime to address traffic issues.”

City projects: Steve Hadley, representing the office of City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said utility poles east of La Jolla Shores Drive are scheduled for removal in February as a project to place power lines underground nears completion.

The undergrounding project west of La Jolla Shores Drive and resulting removal of poles there will “take a little longer,” Hadley said.

He said he is working with the city to determine whether several streetlights burning out west of La Jolla Shores Drive is due to “the city not getting around [to] replacing them or if that’s tied into undergrounding.”

LJSA board election: Prospective candidates for five available LJSA board seats will present at a candidates forum at the group’s February meeting, ahead of the March 9 election.

At the forum, the candidates will introduce themselves and give brief statements about why they want to join or continue on the board.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Shores Association next meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, online. Learn more at