History of Scripps Ranch Parks, Ponds & Lakes

Scripps Ranch Parks, Ponds & Lakes Through The Ages

May 1972

  • Five open space parks, Hoyt Park East, Meanley, Gordon Grove, Fox Grove, and Jerabek Park, have been completed.
  • Two additional open space parks, Derenbaker Grove and Hoyt Park West, are nearly complete.

July 1972

  • The annual Fourth of July picnic moves to Hoyt Park.

Scripps Ranch Fourth of July picnic, 1972

September 3, 1972

  • An Opening Day Fishing Derby is held at Hendrix Pond. The pond is stocked with 250 pounds of catfish. Leadership permits Scripps Ranch residents to fish in Hendrix Pond from sunrise to 9:30 am and from 5 pm to sunset. “The area is important to house-sales and so residents using the pond should conduct themselves in a way that will not interfere with these operations.”

February 10, 1973

  • Seventy-two Scripps Ranch children enter the trout derby at Hendrix Pond. Leadership Housing has stocked the pond with 400 eight-inch trout two days prior.

March 1973

  • As a result of requests by the Scripps Ranch Civic Affairs Committee, the City agrees to install roadway barriers at all entrances to Hoyt Park East to prevent cars from driving in the park, paint definition stripes on Pomerado Road and install “no shooting” signs south of Pomerado Road east of the Navy Firefighters School.

March 17, 1973

  • Cub Scout Pack 616 helps seed a Scripps Ranch meadow with California wildflower seeds donated by Leadership Housing.

Cub Scout Pack 616 helps seed a Scripps Ranch meadow with California wildflower seeds donated by Leadership Housing, 1973

July 11, 1974

  • The Parks and Aesthetics Committee meets and approves a general concept for the developments of parks in Scripps Ranch. It is determined that the “neighborhood park” of roughly five acres of flat-grassed area didn’t work in Scripps Ranch.Instead, a series of pocket parks of one to two acres in size are to be developed in conjunction with the open space. A community park of 15 to 25 acres with ball fields and buildings is to be developed sometime in the future.Two of the pocket parks will be Hoyt Park West and at Avenida Magnifica and Mesa Madera Drive. These recommendations are forwarded to the City.

October 1974

  • The Parks and Aesthetics Committee galvanizes a strong community effort to “Save Hendrix Pond” and prevent grading for new condominiums adjacent to Hendrix Pond.The proposed condominiums would ring the pond and threaten the existence of the Pond itself through runoff contamination. Pat Anderson spearheads the “Save Hendrix Pond” effort.The community sends over 40 letters to the City’s Environmental Department, additional letters from Brownies are mailed to Mayor Pete Wilson, and approximately 1,300 signatures are collected to demonstrate sufficient public interest to have the City Engineer responsible for the project appeal the matter to the City Council.

Save Hendrix Pond, Scripps Ranch, 1974

November 1974

  • Chauncy Jerabek replants a tree in Jerabek Park, in an attempt to preserve an important link to the historic past of Scripps Ranch.

December 1974

  • Leadership Housing consents to sell the six acres surrounding Hendrix Pond to the residents of Scripps Ranch, provided the transaction can be completed within one year. The Parks and Aesthetics Committee, with the assistance of attorney Roger Hedgecock determines that the most viable alternative to halt development is to create an assessment district to purchase the parcel since it qualifies as open space and cannot be purchased using the park money that the City has already collected from residents via assessments.The committee conducts a survey and determines there is sufficient support for the creation of an assessment district and ultimately presents the City with a petition signed by 60 percent of the Scripps Ranch residents supporting the assessment district.

March 1975

  • The City Parks Department recommends, in accordance with the wishes of the community as documented by surveys, that the City purchase the two smaller park sites when funds become available.There are sufficient funds in Park Fee District #235 to cover the cost of the two acres on Aviary. But there are not enough funds remaining in Park Fee District #234 to cover the cost of the five-acre middle terrace on Avenida Magnifica.The community does not want to only invest in one large park on Avenida Magnifica given the current size of the community. When the community’s population reaches 18,000, which is the required “standard” for a community park, then the community will take another serious look at purchasing the larger 20-acre parcel.

August 1975

  • Battalion Chief Bruce Blauvelt visits Scripps Ranch to evaluate the potential fire hazard of the parks and canyons. In a letter to the Parks and Aesthetics Committee, Assistant Fire Chief R.C. Phillips of the San Diego Fire Department states: “Chief Blauvelt’s conclusion was that the trees and groundcover in that area do not present a significant fire hazard.” Chief Phillips further explains by phone that, “should a fire erupt, the fire department could control it quite easily and our homes would not be in any immediate danger.”

December 1975

  • Leadership turns the deed to Hendrix Pond over to the City. Assessments for the Special District to cover the cost of the purchase of Hendrix Pond range from $1,500 for the homeowners bordering the pond to $100 for homeowners farthest from the park, with the assessment to be paid over a 10-year period.Controversy continues for several months regarding whether the community should have created the assessment district, but ultimately the majority of the community is in favor of protecting Hendrix Pond from adjacent development.

March 10, 1976

  • The Hendrix Park Assessment District is approved by the City Council. 

July 4, 1976

  • The annual 4th of July picnic features a real buffalo barbecue in Hoyt Park, along with all the draft beer one could drink for $1. 

Fourth of July Buffalo BBQ Hoyt Park Scripps Ranch 1976

April 1977

  • The annual Easter Egg Hunt is held at Hendrix Pond.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Hendrix Pond Scripps Ranch

August 1977

  • The City’s Park and Recreation Department proposes a regional park around Miramar Reservoir. A Scripps Ranch community group is formed to investigate sources of funding and to lobby for the park.

June 18, 1977

  • A free “Concert-On-The-Green” is held at Hoyt Park. The City-County Band, composed of between 20 and 35 professional musicians, plays light classical, jazz and show tunes. The San Diego City Parks and Recreation Department San Diego County, the Musicians Trust Fund and the SRCA sponsor the concert.The concert was organized through the efforts of the SRCA with the thought that this event could possibly become an annual affair with the community helping in the future to defray rehearsal costs through donations.This concert becomes the basis for the Symphony in the Park series later established by the Scripps Ranch Women’s Athletic Club and the Scripps Ranch Old Pros.

September 1977

  • The Scripps Miramar Ranch Planning Committee resolves that the park to be located adjacent to the Jerabek School should be named “Vivian Rumph’s Park” in honor of the long and outstanding contributions made by Vivian “Dolly” Rumph on behalf of Scripps Ranch.Ms. Rumph, who passed away in September 1977, served the community in many capacities, including as SRCA President, district director, and was actively involved in getting an adequate eastbound off-ramp from I-15 to Pomerado Road and bus service to the community.


  • The SRCA awards the Volunteer Community Service Award to Robert E. Dingeman. The City Council passes an ordinance requiring developers to pay $800 per new home being developed in Scripps Ranch for park fees, which will rate adjust upward by 8 percent per year for inflation.At this time, developers of new subdivisions are only required to pay $200 per house in park fees for the purchase of parks in a new development. But this per home amount was established in the early 1970s and is no longer adequate to purchase necessary parkland.The Scripps Ranch Planning Committee tries several avenues to finance the purchase of parkland. After much give and take with the City Parks Department and a last-minute challenge by the entire construction industry of San Diego, the ordinance is passed with the support of the Scripps Ranch developers.The developers, particularly McMillin, are instrumental in convincing the construction industry association that Scripps Ranch is unique and the passage of the ordinance will not create a dangerous precedent for the rest of the city. McMillin also agrees to hold the land around the reservoir until the community is able to purchase it.

June 1980

  • The SRCA solicits community opinion regarding the design for the nine-acre neighborhood park next to Jerabek School in order to demonstrate community support to the various City committees, boards, and the City Council. The plan will be to include playing fields, tennis courts and an amphitheater on this site, rather than on the community park site next to Miramar Reservoir in order to keep the lakeside park a naturalized “Kate Sessions” type of park.A fishing spot near the reeds in Hendricks Pond, 1987 Scripps Ranch

August 1984

  • Vincent Frank, Chairman of the SRCA Parks Committee, announces that the City Park and Recreation Department has finally agreed to place “tot lot” neighborhood parks at Forestview Drive and Semillon. These lots were vacant residential lots owned by McMillin Development Corp. and the City still needed to acquire the land.

September 1984

  • Evans Pond, located on the Meanley property on Scripps Lake Drive, is drained to install an aqueduct and will be refilled when construction is completed. Evans Pond was named for the original homesteader who came to Scripps Ranch and whose property E.W. Scripps purchased for his large ranch.
  • A brush fire breaks out in Jerabek Park green space, south of Sierra Court, on September 31, 1984. No fire trucks are available because they are fighting a major blaze elsewhere. Scripps Ranch residents grab hoses, rakes, and shovels to battle the blaze and are able to contain it.

January 14, 1985 

  • The San Diego City Council approves funding for the first neighborhood park, Jerabek Park. 

July 7, 1985

  • The Scripps Ranch Women’s Athletic Club and the Scripps Ranch Old Pros hold the first Symphony in the Park free community concerts with Harvey and the 52nd Street Jive. Walt Albright first presents the idea of the concerts to the Old Pros, and then Bob Johnson of the Old Pros and Donna Evans of the Scripps Ranch Women’s Athletic Club chair the project for many years.First annual Symphony in the Park, Scripps Ranch 1985

October 26, 1985 

  • A formal dedication of Jerabek Park is held. 

April 5, 1986 

  • The flagpole at Jerabek Park is formally dedicated, with Linda Duke, the branch manager of the Great American First Savings Bank, making the presentation and Deputy Mayor Ed Struiksma accepting the flagpole on behalf of Scripps Ranch residents.Three flags are raised by members of the Scripps Ranch Little League during the dedication: a US flag that had been flown over the Capitol and secured by U.S. Congressman Bill Lowery; a State flag secured by State Congressman Bill Craven; and a Little League All-Star Championship flag.During the dedication, Ed Struiksma reviews the history of the flagpole, recalling that Ron Weiss stated at a recent SRCA meeting honoring the Little League All-Stars and coaches, that the community did not have a flagpole from which to fly the championship flag and that comment sparked the action to secure the flagpole.

    Great American First Savings donated the flagpole in honor of the bank’s 100th anniversary.

May 1986

  • Jerabek Park is accepted from the contractor and becomes a Neighborhood Park.

September 1986

  • The community starts planning the “Community Park.”

April 1987

  • City leaders conduct ongoing discussions regarding plans to open up Lake Miramar and seven other reservoirs to water skiing, catamarans, sailboarding, and swimming. Mayor O’Connor, Deputy City Mayor McGrory, Councilman Ed Struiksma (the primary mover behind the recreation plan for the past three years) and others are party to the discussions.

January 1988

  • An anonymous Mira Mesa resident donates and plants drought-resistant trees around Lake Miramar for the enjoyment of all. Eucalyptus trees around the lake and in other areas in Scripps Ranch had become infested with the Australian Borer.

March 1988

  • The grand opening and dedication of two beautiful “tot lots” on Semillon and Forestview occurs. Tot lots had been put into Scripps Ranch Master Community Plan in 1978 and finally came to fruition a decade later.

May 12, 1988

  • A Himalayan Cedar tree (Cedrus Deodora) is planted in Jerabek Park for use in the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

July 1989

  • The Lake Miramar parking lot is now open 7 days a week.

September 1989

  • San Diego’s first Pet Parade is held in Scripps Ranch starting on Aviary Drive and ending in Hoyt Park.
  • Gas fumes are emitted from Scripps Trail storm drains. A leak was discovered in an unleaded tank at a gas station in 1986 and the tank was removed at that time. Homeowners work with air pollution agencies, property owners, and the City to solve the problem and fix it.

March 7, 1991

  • Cypress Canyon Neighborhood Park is accepted by the City Park and Recreation Department.

September 1991

  • The Scripps Ranch Maintenance Assessment District appoints a 10-member citizens committee headed by Bob Dingeman to cope with problems arising from Hendrix Pond and to help plan for the pond’s healthy future. Over the year, Hendrix Pond had been beset by many problems, including a significant water level drop, a horrible odor of dead fish, too many ducks, and an overgrowth of reeds.The committee evaluates suggestions like putting in water-purifying plants, using appropriate herbicides to control reed growth, reallocating water and seeking new water supplies, and relocating some of the ducks.

December 1991

  • The Parks and Trails of Scripps Ranch, a three-color brochure describing the 10 parks and 25 hiking trails in Scripps Ranch, is completed and ready for distribution. Scripps Ranch resident, Andy Bowes, completed the brochure as part of an Eagle Scout project.

August 28, 1993

  • The first Scripps Ranch Community Fair and Information Celebration is held in Cypress Canyon Park. 

March 15, 1994

  • The Rec Council assists the MRNPC in reviewing the park plans for Miramar Ranch North in conjunction with the development of the community park and determines that too little acreage is available for children to play active sports.The park problem originated when the Mira Lago park site of 13 acres was not built with active playing fields as first planned. The high school was also designed by the school district with fewer playing fields than anticipated despite receiving $1 million from MRN developers. Additionally, Ahren’s Field was lost during the construction of the high school.

April 2, 1994

  • The first Annual Scripps Ranch Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by McMillin Realty, is held.

May 1994

10th Anniversary Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park ad, 1994

  • The 10th anniversary season of Symphony in the Park celebrates 10 years of free concerts sponsored by Scripps Ranch Old Pros and Scripps Ranch Women’s Athletic Club. The co-chairs of Symphony in the Park are Barbara Hunter and John Petit.

    10th Anniversary Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park, 1994

May 12, 1994

  • The MRNPC holds a community forum to help design the community park.

April 30, 1995

  • A dedication celebration is held for Spring Canyon Park.

May 11, 1996

  • The grand opening of Lakeview Neighborhood Park is celebrated.

    Grand opening Lakeview Park Scripps Ranch 1996

August 1996

  • Construction begins on the upgrade and expansion of the Water Reclamation facility at Miramar Lake.  
  • The final design meeting for the Scripps Ranch Recreation Center is held, which will have a gym and craft rooms. Planning for this facility has been almost 20 years in the works and construction will commence shortly.

August 1998

  • The Scripps Ranch Special Park Fund (SRSPF) approves an expenditure of $350,000 to help bridge the gap in financing the swimming pool complex at Miramar College in order to provide nearby aquatic recreational facilities for residents and Scripps Ranch High School students.The Scripps Ranch Special Park Fund is a special assessment district that is comprised of the original Scripps Ranch area and was created in 1977 when ranch residents realized that essential infrastructure facilities would not be provided by the City and that the community and its residents would have to provide them. The community opted for a special fee for parks, to be collected from the sale of all new homes in Scripps Ranch.


    As of August 1998, the Scripps Ranch Special Park Fund has a balance of about $3.7 million. The fund covers the cost of Jerabek Park, Lakeview Park, and Cypress Canyon Park.

January 16, 1999

  • The official groundbreaking is held for the first ever Scripps Ranch Community Recreation Building in the community park. Especially recognized for their efforts in helping to secure this facility are Wes Danskin, Marc Sorensen, and Chas Eminhizer.

April 24, 1999

  • The Scripps Ranch Community Park opens with a gala party, including community booths, free food and the Heroes playing rock ‘n roll tunes, all hosted by the McMillin Companies.

May 23, 1999

  • The permanent stage at Hoyt Park is dedicated at the first Symphony in the Park concert of the season. The idea of a permanent stage started three years earlier with John Martin and Bob Colbourne of the Scripps Ranch Old Pros.City approval was required as the land is dedicated City open space. Bob Colbourne volunteered his time and talent as the project architect, and the Old Pros raised the $50,000 needed for the stage.