Bit by bit, the Whale View Point Shoreline Enhancement Project is making headway. Most recently, thanks to 17-year-old boy Scout Paul Vickrey, who chose this project to complete his eagle Scout requirement, a couple items can be checked off the list.
The piecemeal project is expected to take 20 years to complete and cost $2.1 million. It was is designed to beautify the 0.3-mile area known as Whale View Point along coast boulevard, with independent tasks to be tackled as funds become available – or volunteers come forward.
Some of the needed repairs include sprucing up the gazebo near the residential area of coast boulevard and beach access walkway handrails, and removing the dead overgrown vegetation on the cobblestone wall around the Wedding Bowl.
Enter Vickrey, and about a dozen other Scouts from La Jolla’s Troop 506, and girls from Venture Crew 506. The teens scraped and painted the gazebo, scraped and painted some railing posts on a beach access, and pulled out 10 garbage bags worth of dead plants. “This project seemed like it was really needed and would be a terrific way to enhance the experiences of not only the residents of La Jolla, but also the thousands of people that visit our Village every year,” Vickrey said.
When the Scouts arrived the morning of Saturday, Sept. 19, “The aloe (around the Wedding Bowl wall) was overgrown and a lot of it was dead or fraying, the gazebo was very weathered with paint chipped off all over it and graffiti scratched into the benches ... the paint had pretty much already fallen off of the railing posts,” he said.
by the time they finished the following day, Vickrey said “The dead aloe was removed, leaving only the fresh living plants and making the area look much more pleasant. The railing posts and the gazebo were freshly painted with weather-resistant paint, which should last for the next 20-plus years.”
Agreeing that the area looks “much more tended” Whale View Point project organizer Ann Dynes said the work the Scouts did “represents the community volunteerism” the project needs to thrive. “It is another cause to celebrate the steps being taken at Whale View Point,” she said. “These are small steps but they are helping us to develop momentum for the more significant steps that need to be taken.”
Other small steps completed thus far include re-vegetating the southernmost point of the project near 274 Coast Blvd. (where the street becomes residential) with native plants. Dynes has also gotten the ball rolling on a study to stabilize the walking paths under the cobblestone climbing wall (aka People’s Wall) and improve drainage.
With each completed step, Dynes said the project gains credibility and financial support. With continued support and volunteer efforts, improvements to the sidewalk and the installation of a bicycle path could be on the horizon.
The Whale View Point project is run under the auspices of La Jolla Parks & beaches advisory group, which assumed management of the project in April 2014 from the La Jolla conservancy.
The project is broken up into four task areas, with the first task area being habitat restoration; beach cleanup and debris removal; informal mulch path; aquatic habitat restoration; new mow curb, irrigation and drainage maintenance; retain informal beach access points; protect and restore historic stair and cobble curb; trash receptacle relocation.
Later task areas include repairing the People’s Wall, installing an educational Plaza with informational signage, sidewalk improvements and parking adjustments.