Fall Into Fun

One of the greatest advantages of living in San Diego is being able to spend time outdoors practically any time of the year – and you don’t have to go far from home to enjoy this perk! There are plenty of beautiful parks right here in Carmel Valley. From activities like children’s egg hunts, family movie nights, and summer concerts to recreational classes and sports leagues for all ages, local parks serve as a place for community members to come together and enjoy the great outdoors. Carmel Valley Recreation Council Chair Marilee Pacelli and Ocean Air Recreation Council Chair Jason Hardy share with us how their organizations work to further enhance all that parks in 92130 have to offer, and how you can get involved by joining or learning more about the recreation councils.

Q&A with Marilee Pacelli, Carmel Valley Recreation Council Chair

cover_08Can you tell us the history of the Carmel Valley Recreation Council?
In the early days, the CVRC was instrumental in ensuring that new parks met the needs of the community. This included getting restrooms added at Torrey Highlands, ensuring adequate parking was available at parks that shared space with elementary schools, and increasing the gymnasium size at the Carmel Valley Community Park. The council also found that Carmel Del Mar did not include the required acreage – leading to the creation of the three-acre Del Mar Trails Park – and worked to move the Carmel Creek park and school to a location away from the power lines (its original site). Since then, the CVRC has worked with the city to provide community input on park design, local activities and programs, and area youth and adult sports.

What is the CVRC’s current role in 92130?
The CVRC is an advisory board that allows community participation and public outreach for issues related to the local city parks, working to promote recreation in the community through planning, administering, publicizing, and coordination with vendors and city staff. We work with the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department to manage parks and to provide programs, special events, enhanced services, facilities, equipment, and supplies for the benefit of the public. This includes providing programming for the local community in the form of classes and recreational sports leagues. Over the years, the rec council has also sponsored many activities such as movie nights, summer concerts, spring egg hunts, and more. We also work with the local youth and adult sports organizations and oversee the allocation of fields within the 92130 zip code.

When and where does the council meet?
The Carmel Valley Rec Council meets monthly on the first Tuesday of each month. The meetings are held at the Carmel Valley Rec Center starting at 7 p.m. and they are open to the public. The Ocean Air Recreation Council meets at the Ocean Air Community Park on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.

“Some of these parks are run in conjunction with local schools, with joint-use athletic fields being unavailable to the public during the school day. Examples include Solana Highlands, Carmel Creek, Carmel Del Mar, Ashley Falls, and Sage Canyon. Contact the Carmel Valley Center at 858-552-1616 (parks north of SR-56) or the Ocean Air Center at 858-552-1687 (parks south of SR-56) for questions about the use or maintenance of these parks, including information on permitting, large groups, or using party jumpers.

There are a number of smaller parks that fall under the Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) that serve the community, including: Torrey Highlands, Carmel Knolls, Carmel Grove, Overlook Park, and the Renaissance Park (also known as Powerline Park). Although the CVRC does not have any jurisdiction over these parks, we do oversee their allocation for the local youth sports groups. For questions of maintenance and landscaping at these MAD parks contact District Manager Erika Ferreira at 619-307-6864. For questions of use or permitting contact the CVRC at 858-552-1616.”

– Marilee Pacelli, CVRC Chair

What kinds of park events do you put on throughout the year?
The council puts on several events throughout the year for the benefit of the community. Each year we put on a spring egg hunt for children ages 1 to 14. This has been an activity that the rec council has funded for the last 15 years. Up until this summer we have offered a summer concert series that included three to five free concerts during the summer. We have also offered Family Movie Nights during the summer for all families.


What’s in store for the future of parks in 92130?
The goal of the council is to continue to provide programming for young and old through the rec center and the parks. We are currently in the process of developing a committee to make recommendations for more senior programming. Carmel Valley has a growing community of seniors, so providing them with programs to meet their needs is important for the well-being of our community. The council will continue to provide additional funds for supporting our programs by purchasing equipment and additional landscaping for the parks.

What do you most enjoy about visiting community parks, and why are they an important community staple?
Community parks provide open space for both organized and unorganized activities in indoor and outdoor environments that promote health and well-being for both young and old. I enjoy participating in these programs and using the parks for exercise for myself and my husband.

Is there anything that our readers might not know about the council or local parks?
Our local parks and recreation centers are heavily used throughout the year by both youth and adult groups. The role of the recreation council is to help provide programming and offer events to the public that will help attract them to our parks. The rec council is always looking for new members – come join us at one of our meetings and learn what you can do for your community!

At-A-Glance Carmel Valley Recreation Council

Chair: Marilee Pacelli
Phone: 858-552-1616
Email: Center Director Patsy Cortez at pcortez@sandiego.gov
Website: www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/centers/recctr/carmelvalley

Community Parks of 92130

Parks Overseen by the Carmel Valley Recreation Council:

Ashley Falls
Address: 13030 Ashley Falls Dr.
Hours: Sunrise – Sunset
Facilities: Playground, multi-purpose athletic field, volleyball net, picnic tables

Carmel Creek
Address: 4260 Carmel Center Rd.
Hours: Sunrise – Sunset
Facilities: Playground, small field, picnic tables, grassy area

Carmel Del Mar
Address: 12345 Carmel Park Dr.
Hours: Sunrise – Sunset
Facilities: Playground, baseball fields, soccer field, picnic tables, bike path

Carmel Valley Community Park
Address: 3777 Townsgate Dr.
Hours: Vary; check website for hours
Facilities: Outdoor courts, tot lot, playground, picnic areas, a multi-purpose athletic field, tennis courts, a full-size gymnasium, meeting room, game room, craft room, restrooms, full-size kitchen, swimming pool

Solana Highlands
Address: 3520 Longrun Dr.
Hours: Sunrise – Sunset
Facilities: Playground, picnic tables, benches, grassy area, bike path

Parks Overseen by the ocean air Recreation Council:

Ocean Air Community Park
Address: 4770 Fairport Way
Hours: Vary; check website for hours
Facilities: Indoor basketball/volleyball/badminton courts, lit outdoor basketball court, lit multi-purpose fields, playground, picnic area and shelter, fitness area, meeting rooms

Sage Canyon
Address: 5252 Harvest Run Dr.
Hours: Sunrise – Sunset
Facilities: Outdoor basketball courts, playground, baseball fields, picnic tables, grassy area, bike path

Torrey Hills
Address: 4260 Calle Mejillones
Hours: Sunrise – Sunset
Facilities: Playground, picnic tables, basketball court, baseball fields, soccer field, bike path

Q&A with Jason Hardy, Ocean Air Recreation Council Chair

cover_07Can you tell us the history of the Ocean Air Recreation Council?
Ocean Air Recreation Center opened in 2010 and has been a mainstay of community recreation events, programs, youth and adult sports, and social gatherings in the Ocean Air, Torrey Hills, and Sage Canyon communities.

What is the Ocean Air Recreation Council’s current role in 92130?
The purpose of the council is to promote recreation programs in the community through planning, administering, publicizing, and coordination with vendors and city staff. The council also makes recommendations to the Park and Recreation Department, the Park and Recreation Board, and the Community Parks Area Committees regarding park and recreation programs and facilities within the council’s jurisdiction.

When and where does the council meet?
Every fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Ocean Air Recreation Center meeting room.

Can you tell us about what programs or services recreation councils provide?
The council may raise funds and work with the City of San Diego to provide programs, special events, enhanced services, facilities, equipment, and supplies for the benefit of the public.

What kinds of park events do you put on throughout the year?
Currently, the Ocean Air Recreation Council supports City staff in the planning and implementation of the annual Torrey Hills Spring Egg Hunt, Summer Movies in the Park, and Snow Day – a community event where toys and food are collected to help those in need during the holidays.


What’s in store for the future of parks in 92130?
Continued enhancement of programs, activities, and recreation elements.

What do you most enjoy about visiting community parks, and why are they an important community staple?
Ocean Air has provided a clean and safe recreation element; one that is as unique and diverse as its community members and its surrounding open space area.

Is there anything that our readers might not know about the council or local parks?
The Ocean Air Recreation Council is looking to increase our membership. If you are interested or have questions, please contact Ocean Air Center Director Kevin Wiggins at 858-552-1689 or email him at kwiggins@sandiego.gov.

At-A-Glance Ocean Air Recreation Council

Chair: Jason Hardy
Phone: 858-552-1687
Email: kwiggins@sandiego.gov
Website: www.sandiego.gov

Planning for the Park Need some inspiration on how to take advantage of your local parks this fall? Check out our suggestions for some outdoor fun.

cover_06Let the Dogs Out: But make sure they stay leashed unless you’re at an off-leash park! Most dogs love exploring new territories beyond the neighborhood sidewalks. If you know your dogs are friendly, parks are a great place to introduce them to a variety of people. Remember to bring doggy bags and a water bowl.

Outdoor Office: Did any of your teachers ever take the class outside on sunny days? Be your own favorite teacher and cast a new light on your work by heading to a nearby park to catch up on your paperwork or help your kid with homework. The fresh environment can boost both your productivity and your mental health.

Party It Up: Local parks are great birthday venues no matter how old you’re turning. Some have gazebos or other facilities you can reserve for special events – see www.sandiegocounty.gov/parks and www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation to learn more. Remember to clean up after your event and leave the park pristine for the next day’s party guests.

Picnic at the Park: Pack an easy meal with your friend, significant other, or family and head out to dine in the fresh air. Either bring a blanket to spread out on the grass or take advantage of available picnic tables – though you may want to spread a cloth over the outdoor table anyway. Keep food covered and make sure napkins don’t blow away.

Playground Playdate: Instead of inviting your kid’s friends over to your house, invite them out to the park and let them loose for some lightly supervised fun. Be sure to bring along snacks and sunscreen depending on when you head out. You can also take turns every week with the other parents so everyone gets an afternoon to themselves.

Rest and Relaxation: Bring a blanket and a book and kick back – or skip the book and just take a nap. Either enjoy the sounds of birds chirping and children playing or take charge of your relaxation soundtrack by bringing along music and earbuds. Don’t forget the sunscreen if you think you might fall asleep at noon.

Sports and Games: Playing catch sounds simple, but first you have to decide what you’re catching – a baseball, football, Frisbee, lacrosse ball, soccer ball, or something else? If you or a family member is on a sports team, playing catch in the park is a great way to keep everyone’s skills sharp. You can also play games that don’t need equipment, like Hide and Seek, Red Light Green Light, and Red Rover.

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