La Jolla Community Foundation (LJCF) distributed more than $26,000 in grants, funded by donations from philanthropic citizens, at a celebration Nov. 10 hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The Foundation presented checks to five non-profits ready to implement La Jolla beautification projects. To keep the improvements going forward, the Foundation completed its first round of La Jolla Parkway cleanups and announced it would be forming a Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) and a 501(c)3 account to manage it.
This year marks the second LJCF grant cycle and celebration for the organization established in 2008.
Each year, LJCF selects a theme and finds non-profits with projects that match that theme. In its inaugural year, the focus was on arts and/or sciences, and the LJCF distributed $35,000. This year’s theme is Beautifying La Jolla, for which the Foundation received 18 grant requests, ultimately selecting five to fund. They are: The 1:1 Movement, La Jolla Parks & Beaches, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Bird Rock Foundation, and Friends of Coast Walk Trail.
“All of these (projects) will focus on beautification of La Jolla and aesthetics. Everyone who lives here or works here knows how important this is,” said Susan McClellan, LJCF grants chair.
The $3,000 grant for The 1:1 Movement will fund its AWAY Project, which creates “a hands-on waste diversion program focused on community beautification and student engagement,” McClellan said. Through the AWAY Project, students learn to think differently about what they would normally throw away or recycle, by examining where their trash ultimately goes.
To preserve and re-vegetate the coastal area along the Coast Walk Trail (between Coast Walk off Torrey Pines Road and Goldfish Point) LJCF granted $4,500 to Friends of Coast Walk Trail. “The grant will alleviate the issues faced at the trail, which without proper preservation and maintenance, will lead to continued its deterioration and instability of the cliffs,” McClellan said. “Those of us who like to run or walk along that beautiful trail know it needs a lot of work.”
For a new ball court, on which students at Bird Rock Elementary School and the community at large can play a number of sports, LJCF gave $5,000 to the Bird Rock Foundation. “The ball court is inspired by the court at the La Jolla Rec Center and will be used for tennis, handball, soccer, racquetball, lacrosse and wall-ball,” McClellan said. “This grant is not just for the students, but for people who live in La Jolla.” Bird Rock Community Field is located on the upper field of the elementary school at 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave.
The $5,100 grant to Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will be used to revitalize the Edwards Sculpture Garden,which is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 700 Prospect St. Chiefly, McClellan said, “The grant will allow for the replacement of aging plants and hardware, expand the free mobile tour with new content about the garden, raise awareness of this free space with new signage, and improve lighting for evening use.”
The largest grant of the night, at $8,500, went to La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group for its Whale View Point project, a multi-year, multi-aspect undertaking to beautify and preserve the coastline along the 300-600 blocks of Coast Boulevard, McClellan said. Plans consist of major and minor components, with many of the smaller tasks already finished.
McClellan applauded project organizer Ann Dynes with already re-vegetating the coastal access near the southern end of the project’s border and (with the help of some Boy Scouts from La Jolla Troop 506) cleaning up the Wedding Bowl. The entire Whale View Point project plans can be found at whaleviewpoint.org
▪ Gateway to La Jolla spruced up
As part of a pilot program, LJCF announced a partnership with I Love A Clean San Diego to clean up La Jolla Parkway between the I-5 on-ramp and Torrey Pines Road. Foundation executive director Julie Bronstein told those gathered that during its first cleanup on Nov. 9, I Love A Clean San Diego crews picked up 120 gallons of litter. The parkway cleanups will take place twice a month for the next six months, and are in addition to the monthly cleanups by the city. The next is Nov. 23. This maintenance project is being funded by an anoymous donor.
▪ ‘Enhance La Jolla’ to keep The Jewel sparkling
LJCF chair and La Jolla Light president Phyllis Pfeiffer further revealed that the Foundation would be forming a Maintenance Assessment District (MAD ) under a 501(c)3 account called “Enhance La Jolla.” Establishing a MAD costs thousands of dollars and a ballot measure, so community outreach in the form of petitions and fundraising can be expected in early 2016.
Pfeiffer said it would be modeled after the MAD operating in Bird Rock, which is managed by the Bird Rock Community Council. MAD money funds community cleanups beyond what the city can provide. “We’ve all seen the results,” Pfeiffer said. “It looks fabulous. We want to do, in the Village, what they have in Bird Rock.”
Emphasizing the maintenance component, she added, “It’s very hard to raise funds to collect trash, power wash streets and water trees ... we could plant trees up and down Girard (Avenue) and they would die because no one would water them. So the MAD is important and critical to our success here in La Jolla.
“MAD money will fund maintenance and then we will collect donations for bigger projects such as planting trees and installing street furniture. Establishing this kind of a district takes a lot of funding and the La Jolla Community Foundation has stepped up to spearhead this effort. By joining (or donating to) the Foundation, you help us make Enhance La Jolla a reality and the solution that fixes our community.”
The progress of Enhance La Jolla will be reported as updates become available.
To learn more about the La Jolla Community Foundation, visit lajollacommunityfoundation.org