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Preserving the Scripps legacy

By Scott Peters

The park and its offshore waters, the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, have been named areas of special biological significance in recognition of their environmental and ecological importance. They are unique treasures in our community, and we must ensure their responsible stewardship.

In order to keep Scripps Park vibrant and dynamic, and to address issues such as erosion and tree die-off, a group of community volunteers got together in 2003 to create the Scripps Park Project. For more than two years, the 15-member steering committee has worked to build consensus around a comprehensive 100-year plan that includes environmental protections, parking, traffic and landscape improvements and other issues.

The committee held two public workshops in November and December of 2005 to gather preliminary input from the community. The renowned architecture firm Campbell & Campbell took that feedback and incorporated it into a draft report, which identified major issues and recommended seven guiding principles for the project: preserving the invaluable natural resources and native ecologies; preserving existing views of and from the park and the historic landscape design; improving accessibility; initiating sustainable design and maintenance; ensuring that all repairs, additions and maintenance reflect the unique natural landscape and history of the park; and securing funding to implement the workshop recommendations.

A draft plan for the Scripps Park project has been circulating for a number of months and is close to being finalized. One of the most controversial elements of the initial plan was a relocation of the Bridge Club. Due in part to strong community opposition, that idea has been dropped from the plan as it moves forward.

The committee will hold a public meeting on Monday, Oct. 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the La Jolla Library, 755 Draper Ave., to solicit public input and feedback on the Campbell & Campbell draft plan. This is an opportunity for you to influence the long-term vision of Scripps Park.

After that meeting, Campbell & Campbell will prepare a final plan to be presented to the Scripps Park Project steering committee for a vote at their November meeting. If approved there, the plan would move to the relevant La Jolla planning groups and on to the full City Council for approval.

Scripps Park belongs to all of us, and we must preserve it for future generations. I encourage you to attend this meeting and let your voice be heard on this important community issue.

For more information on the Scripps Park Project, you can visit their Web site, www.scrippspark.com.

City Council President Scott Peters represents District 1, which includes La Jolla.