The community parks planning group also vetted a proposal to rehabilitate dying trees, along with upgrading Scripps Park picnic area.
City arborist Brian Widener explained the City is tasked with “managing all the trees on public property and along streets including trimming palms.”
The arborist noted the city has planted approximately 1,800 trees along public streets and an additional 400 to 500 trees in parks.
“I oversee the urban forestry program,” Widener said, adding tree management citywide is handled through two different departments, Transportation and Stormwater and Parks.
“Stormwater trimmed 30,000-plus trees last year, and parks did a smaller number, about 800,” Widener said offering this caveat, “We have a lot of paper streets and we get a lot of requests to trim trees that are not directly on the street (in City’s jurisdiction).”
In that case, the arborist noted a determination must be made as to whether the trees in question are in stormwater’s or park’s purview. He added the responsibility for trimming trees on private property technically falls to their property owners.
Added Widener, “Trees in unimproved areas of the city, we’re (City’s) not required to maintain those trees unless they’re an imminent threat, or they present some kind of hazardous situation.”
Widener advised that the best way to request a tree trimming in the City’s jurisdiction is to do so on the City’s Get It Done App.
Eric Holtsmark gave a slideshow presentation proposing rehabilitating Scripps Park’s picnic area. Of special interest are a handful of picnic benches in the area, none of which have memorial plaques on them, a program LJPB is interested in reviving.
LJPB president Ann Dynes noted the parks group has formed its own foundation adding, “I think the park foundation could create an endowment to provide some good plaques for the picnic tables. The City won’t do plaques because it has no system of maintaining or replacing them.”
Holtsmark suggested the picnic area could be terraced and that seating in the area could be upgraded.
“The main concern of course is water running off the bluffs eroding the bluffs,” said Holtsmark, who advocated “running it all into a swale and putting that into the stormwater system.”
“It (picnic area) definitely needs help, it would be an improvement,” said board member Judy Halter.
“How many table are you suggesting?” asked board member Sally Miller.
“Six is about the right number,” responded Holtsmark. “There are three or four now.”
Holtsmark noted there are sickly Australian tea trees that made need to be replaced.
“If you replace the tea trees, you’re going to lose shade, that’s very important down there,” said board member Dr. Jane Relden.
“We have a list of 15 possible trees that could be used,” replied Holtsmark.
In other action:
• Board member Melinda Merryweather called on the group to write a letter to the City calling for better water testing of Children’s Pool and La Jolla Cove, contending both sites “are more polluted than the current testing says it is.”