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Meet Parish Rye: Park ranger assigned to La Jolla shorelines

To introduce himself and his patrol jurisdiction, Parish Rye, the new ranger assigned to La Jolla’s shoreline parks, attended the La Jolla Parks & Beaches meeting at the Rec Center Jan. 26.

He told the group he spent 10 years patrolling Balboa Park, but his new coverage area begins at Tourmaline Park (on the border between La Jolla and Pacific Beach) and continues up to Torrey Pines Gliderport, covering everything in between — including Children’s Pool, the Cove, Scripps Park, Kellogg Park and smaller pocket parks. He’s been on this assignment for about seven weeks.

Park ranger Parish Rye speaks at the La Jolla Parks & Beaches meeting Jan. 26.
Park ranger Parish Rye speaks at the La Jolla Parks & Beaches meeting Jan. 26.

“My intent is to help the community and be a liaison between lifeguards and the police department,” he said. “It’s my understanding there are solicitor issues in Scripps Park and Kellogg Park and also parking issues in those locations. I stop by each one to establish a presence, because presence is very important. I’ve already seen changes in places where I show up.” One notable example, people are no longer parking in red zones, he said.

“(Be assured) there will be presence, but it won’t be in a full eight-hour shift,” Rye said.

The hours he spends at each location will vary based on the needs of the community and what rangers deem necessary.

Rye’s presence at Children’s Pool comes in addition to the patrol of full-time ranger Richard Belesky, who is stationed at the site five days a week.

Asked whether his patrol means Children’s Pool is now monitored seven days a week, Rye said “yes and no.”

Per the terms of the California Coastal Commission’s issuance of a Coastal Development Permit for the placement of a year-round guideline rope at the Children’s Pool, 16 days of observation recording is required. Approved monitors (including rangers) are required to record observations such as number of seals hauled out at Children’s Pool, weather, tide patterns, and more. Rye said that as long as the 16 days of recorded observations are met, there doesn’t need to be a ranger stationed seven days a week. However, if additional observation is necessary, Rye could supplement coverage.

Although Rye’s patrol also includes Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores — a request the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) advisory board has made repeatedly over the years — LJSA still requests that funding for a full-time ranger dedicated solely to Kellogg Park be incorporated into the 2016 Capital Improvement List.

The $115,000 for the shoreline park ranger and associated equipment was part of the fiscal year 2015 budget approved by the San Diego City Council on June 9, 2014.

City Council President Sherri Lightner, whose district covers La Jolla, advocated for the ranger posting.

“Council President Lightner is very excited to have the newly assigned Shoreline Park Ranger Parish Rye on patrol in La Jolla. Kellogg and Scripps Parks are two of the most popular and heavily used beach parks in San Diego,” said Jennifer Kearns, Lightner’s director of communications. “This heavy use has led to quality of life issues that in the past have been handled by Police and Lifeguards. These calls often result in both departments being called away from their primary missions and areas of responsibility to respond to issues. ... The Ranger position was added, in part, as a result of requests from the public, so Council President Lightner is pleased to see requests for essential services be fulfilled.”