Scripps Ranch Parks, Ponds & Lakes Through The Ages
- 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.
- The annual Fourth of July picnic moves to Hoyt Park.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Chauncy Jerabek replants a tree in Jerabek Park, in an attempt to preserve an important link to the historic past of Scripps Ranch.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- The annual Easter Egg Hunt is held at Hendrix Pond.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Jerabek Park is accepted from the contractor and becomes a Neighborhood Park.
- The community starts planning the “Community Park.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Lake Miramar parking lot is now open 7 days a week.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Brown Colarusso Lebeau (BCL) and Avalon, the owners of record of the business park adjacent to Evans Pond and the library, continue to process their application for a community plan amendment and zoning change to allow multi-family housing in the Scripps Ranch Business Park.
Their development plans include developing the lots right up to their property line and installing a fence close to the existing water line of the pond. This proposed development roughly cuts through the center of the eucalyptus grove south of Evans Pond.Proposed grading and improvements to the property line would result in the removal of nearly all of the mature eucalyptus trees on the Business Park, as well as the stone wall. Parking spaces in lot three of the new proposed development would be just 15 feet from the library.
The Scripps Ranch Planning Group addresses the issue and urges the community to get involved.
- Save our Scripps Ranch (SOS), a group of concerned Scripps Ranch residents, is formed to protect the Scripps Ranch Community Plan and the quality of life in the community. SOS is formed so that the SRCA doesn’t have to get involved. The SRCA and the SRPG are not permitted to do certain types of things and the formation of the SOS gives interested community members more flexibility in the types of actions that they can take to support their cause.SOS leader Barbara Measelle describes the group’s concerns: “We are alarmed that the City’s Environmental Planning Department may allow a proposed high-density residential zoning change to go before the City Planning Commission without full environmental review despite the unanimous objections put forth by our own Scripps Ranch Planning Group.”
The owners of the Scripps Ranch Business Park, located east of Scripps Ranch High School, want to change the zoning of the business park from industrial to high-density residential.
SOS members set up tables at the library on many weekends and collect dozens of sheets of a petition signed by protestors. Dorothy Mildice attaches the petitions on the wall with signs saying “SAVE THE WALL” and on the trees on the south side of the pond saying “SAVE THE TREES.” Mrs. Mildice also ties yellow caution tape around all of the trees on the south side of the pond to get people’s attention about what might be lost and additional yellow caution tape on the north side of the pond to call attention to the petitions. Gordon Boerner is also quite instrumental in successfully orchestrating and directing the efforts of SOS.
October 16, 2000
- BCL and Avalon Bay, the developers of the Scripps Ranch Business Park, withdraw their application to rezone the Business Park to multi-family housing the day before the scheduled City Council hearing. In a few short months, Save Our Scripps Ranch (SOS), with the help of many, was able to collect 3,500 petition signatures opposing the rezone and provide funds to pay for two attorneys to represent the community in saving the Meanley Wall and the proposed middle school site.
- A Scripps Ranch Parks and Trails map is published and distributed to SRCA members. The map was developed and researched by a Boy Scout named John Evans under Col. Bob Dingeman’s direction. They walked all of the trails and drew up the map. Al Hofstatter, head of the Trails Committee, verified the trails, and Damian Moss, in consultation with Wes Danskin, prepared the map reproduced by the SRCA for members. The entire effort took over a year to complete.
November 17, 2000
- The City Historical Board designates the Meanley Wall, all of Evans Pond and the surrounding eucalyptus trees as a historical site. For decades, the City and community had treated the area as a historical site. The wall had been saved at the request of the Meanley family and the community. The library had been sited with the wall in mind. Then the community assumed maintenance of the area, paying for it with annual assessments for the Scripps Ranch Landscape Maintenance District.BCL, the new property owner of the Scripps Ranch Business Park, had determined that it needed to develop all of its lots by removing the Meanley Wall and many of the eucalyptus trees on the south side of the pond. Save Our Scripps Ranch, the SRCA and concerned citizens went before the City Historical Board to have the area deemed a historical and cultural landmark.
- The official opening celebration is held for the new Scripps Ranch Information Center located on Cypress Canyon Rd. The center is a City building operated as a community service center. The building itself and the surrounding land is owned by the City Park and Rec Department which is responsible for their long-term maintenance. The building was designed in the 1820s style of homes near Alexandria, Virginia. The Butterfly Gardens pocket park that surrounds the Center and the hills overlooking the Center are maintained by the Miramar Ranch North Landscape Maintenance District.
July 4, 2002
- After much effort on the part of the Scripps Ranch Old Pros and Councilman Brian Maienschein, the Miramar Lake dam gates are opened for the 25th annual Scripps Ranch Old Pros’ 10K run and bike ride. Security is extra tight, with a new measure in effect for the morning of the event. Only runners or riders with an official race bib (and a small fanny pack and clear water bottle only, no bags or backpacks) are allowed across the dam. The gates are only open for this special event.
- With the assistance of the Save Our Scripps Ranch (SOS Ranch) committee, the long battle over setting aside the historical wall and trees adjacent to Evans Pond is finally won. This area is formally identified as “Historical Resources Board Site #450 – Scripps Meanley Stables and House Complex Cultural Landscape.” Though the land was designated a City Historical Site in the fall of 2000, an appeal was filed by the property owners at that time. Since then, Intel purchased the property and had recently canceled the appeal. SOS Ranch continued proceeding with the required paperwork for State Historical designation.
- The Scripps Ranch Recreation Council approves a request from the Scripps Ranch Old Pros to dedicate Jerabek Park’s J-9 field to the memory of Steve Allen, a Scripps Ranch resident for 26 years. The field is to be named the Steve Allen Memorial Field.
September 21, 2003
- Before the Old Pros summer softball championship games are played, more than 250 people, including Councilmember Brian Maienschein, participate in the dedication and renaming of Jerabek Park’s J-9 baseball field to “Steve Allen Field.”
Emcee Dennis Downs pays tribute to Steve Allen and extends thanks to several community groups and the city for recognizing such a unique individual. Steve Allen helped create and build Scripps Ranch’s first Little League field, served on the Little League board, coached kids from T-ball to Pony League, supervised maintenance of the Little League fields, and was past president and chairman of the board of directors for the Old Pros.
May 16, 2004
- For the first time ever the 5th annual SRCA Community Fair is followed immediately by the opening concert for the summer Symphony in the Park concert series, with Rockola performing. Mike and Bev Cassity are the chairpersons for the Community Fair.
July 10, 2004
- A large crowd celebrates the reopening of Miramar Lake for fishing of catfish, bluegill, and bass. The Lake had been closed in connection with the construction of the water treatment plant.
- A small community ribbon cutting opening ceremony is held to celebrate the completion of the unisex bathroom at Lakeview Neighborhood Park, which after many years of effort replaces the portable bathrooms at this popular and well-used park.
February 5, 2005
- Mayor Dick Murphy and Councilmember Brian Maienschein formally cut the ribbon dedicating Overlook Park on Scripps Ranch Boulevard overlooking Miramar Lake. The old saying that “Rome was not built in a day” applies to this park. It started out as a passive park but when the Scripps Ranch Boulevard alignment changed to its present configuration, McMillin park planner Jack Nakawatase designed a full park. Many different plans were considered for this park and community residents and MRNPC members Claudia Unhold, Bill Bernard, and Dave Berw put in a considerable amount of effort to bring this park online.
The completion of Overlook Park is the last project that the McMillin Company was obligated to deliver to the community. This project completes nearly 30 years of Corky McMillin’s involvement in construction on the Ranch and his assistance in meeting the community goals. Corky McMillin and the representatives of his company had been an integral part of the community.Bob Dingeman stated, “Many times Corky had stepped forward and funded receptions for our community. Together as a community and as developers, we have made the difference. For example, when the Cedar Fire swept Handrich Drive, McMillin provided the old plans without cost to residents to use to rebuild their homes. The names of McMillin representatives have filled the roster of both our planning groups for years of service, working with and occasionally battling us, but always producing a quality product.”
- The Project Wildlife kiosk at Lake Miramar constructed by Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Mulvey of Troop 663 is unveiled.
February 24, 2006
- The City proclaims “Lake Miramar Day.” A ceremony is held at Lake Miramar to mark the opening of recent public improvements and to celebrate the partnership between the Water Dept. and the community. Improvements include a redesigned entrance with new signage, a resurfaced parking lot, an additional parking lot at the west end, and new upgraded landscaping. SRCA representatives worked with a Scripps Ranch community group and the San Diego Water Department to determine the types of aesthetic improvements wanted at Miramar Lake, as well as the design of the new sign.
- San Diego Water officials install a floating latrine in Miramar Lake with a $50,000 grant from the state. Community members wage an aggressive campaign to get rid of it. A compromise is reached and the latrine is anchored to the primary dock at the lake.
May 13, 2006
- The City Park and Recreation Department holds re-openings for the reconstructed Forestview Neighborhood Park and Semillon Neighborhood Park Tot Lots. The replacement of the antiquated playground equipment with new equipment was made possible in part as a result of a grant from the State of California.
July 3, 2007
- Councilman Brian Maienschein turns the key and removes the lock that culminated in nearly six years of his efforts to open Miramar Dam to foot traffic. People can once again walk, ride or rollerblade all the way around the lake.
December 12, 2010
- The 28th annual Tree Lighting and toy collection for Toys for Tots are held at Jerabek Park with refreshments provided by the Girl Scouts and music from the Scripps Ranch High School band.