Balboa Park West Mesa Landscape (Grass) Rehabilitation Begins

On August 28, 2018, the City of San Diego began a landscape rehabilitation project on the West Mesa of Balboa Park, north of Laurel Street.  The project focused on restoring the grass cover, which in some places has eroded so badly that it has become dirt.  Here are pictures of the work that has so far taken place. The eroded areas have been fenced-off and fertilized, and are now being watered intermittently each day.

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Here are past pictures of what the West Mesa of Balboa Park looked like with a healthy grass cover. Hopefully, the landscape rehabilitation project will restore the grass to its former attractive condition.

 

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Hillcrest Fire Station #5 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Took Place on August 20, 2018

About 130 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly opened Hillcrest Fire Station #5.  San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Assemblyman Todd Gloria, and City Councilmember Chris Ward were among the speakers.  The Uptown community has been waiting for the opening of this new fire station for almost two decades.

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Waldo D. Waterman Park Ribbon-Cutting — Pictures

The Waldo D. Waterman Park was dedicated on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.  Speakers at the event were Councilmember Chris Ward; Herman D. Parker, Director of Park and Recreation, City of San Diego; James Kidrick, President/CEO San Diego Air & Space Museum.

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Here is a brief biography of Waldo D. Waterman:

 

WALDO D. WATERMAN

BANKERS HILL’S FAMOUS AVIATOR 

by Leo Wilson

On October 25, 2017, the “Waldo D. Waterman Park” will be dedicated.  The new park is at the corner of Maple Street and Albatross Street, and overlooks Maple Canyon.  On July 1, 1909, less than six years after the famed Wright brothers flight at Kitty Hawk, 15-year old Waldo Waterman flew a homemade hang glider from off the south rim of Maple Canyon into the canyon bottom. Some sources say he “swooped” into the canyon.  He actually made several flights, before returning to his garage and working on a plane with an engine. The spot he took off from on the canyon rim is included within the new park that is named after him.

The 9,000 square foot park site was formerly known as the “West Maple Canyon Mini-Park.”  On May 18, 2017, at the request of Uptown Planners, it was renamed after Waldo Waterman.  For over a decade it had been assumed the park would be named after Waterman.  On May 18, 2007, the Bankers Hill/Park West Community Association included it as part of its recommendations for how the new park should be designed. The recommendations also requested that: “A historic image of Waldo Waterman should be placed in the center of the site to commemorate the historic figure.”

That historic image will be an existing plaque that was placed at the west end of the park site on July 1, 1959, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Waterman’s flight. The plaque was placed by the “Early Birds of Aviation”, a national aviation organization, and the San Diego Historical Society.  The mayor of San Diego and other dignitaries were in attendance, as was Waldo Waterman himself, who spoke at the event.  The day prior, Waterman, who was still a licensed pilot, flew again over Maple Canyon.

In 1911, shortly after his first flight, Waterman became involved in a project to develop a new hybrid airplane/car/boat – know as the “whatsit” airplane. An owner could: “drive his amphibian aircraft away from the landing field or water.”  It got its name because when people first viewed it, their initial question was: “What is it”?  Waterman worked on the project for several decades, but eventually it was abandoned and the prototype plane donated to the Smithsonian Museum.  Waterman went on to become a TWA pilot, but at the same time continued his inventive work in aviation.

Waldo Waterman was not the only famed aviator associated with Bankers Hill.  In May 1927, a young 25-year old aviator left his temporary residence on Maple Street in Bankers Hill, only a few blocks east of Waldo Waterman Park, and flew a small plane that had been manufactured in San Diego to Paris.  His name was Charles Lindbergh.

The dedication of Waldo D. Waterman Park will take on October 25, 2017, from 10:30-11:00 p.m., at the park site.  There were dozens of people in Bankers Hill that helped make this park happen; and thanks to everyone involved.

Here are pictures of the new park:

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Metro San Diego CDC Social Mixer Held on September 28th

A great time at the Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation social mixer at Park Bistro Brasserie.  Over 35 in attendance; including Councilmember Chris Ward, and community leaders from Bankers Hill/Park West, Hillcrest Gateway Council & Balboa Park.   Toni Duran, on behalf of State Senator Toni Atkins, gave retiring board member Robert Grinchuk a certificate of appreciation for his decades of service to the community.

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