Local Government

Parks and Recreation Committee Meeting – December 12, 2022

The commissioners received an update from Parks and Rec staff.  A redesign for Acacia Park has been approved and a contractor located.  The plan will go to council next for approval, and hopefully there will be a new playground available at the park in about six months.  The Pooch Park for dogs will be relocated from its current site at Hunt Library to the Brea Dam Park.  The Fullerton Community Center locker rooms will add security doors, and a committee is being formed to decide what should go into the Union Pacific Park.

 The West Coyote Hills trails are scheduled to open around the end of January 2023.  Parks and Rec is still waiting for the County to finalize its plan before the public can use the trails.  Mitigation of erosion of the trails is currently the responsibilty of Chevron but the task will be allocated to the city for management after the trail opening.  Commissioner Hallstrom expressed an interest in the different strategies for erosion control and would like to see the use of repurposed natural materials whenever possible for this purpose.

Camp Hillcrest for children will be open again over the Winter Holidays.  The Fullerton Community Center has added 3 pickleball courts for the popular sport. Around 500 people attended the downtown Tree Lighting, and the yearly Winter Market has been revived by the Fullerton Museum Center, after funding for the event was cut from the city’s budget.

A new Outdoor Equity Program Grant has been awarded to Fullerton Parks and Rec.  The home base of the program will be Richman Park and its goal is to help Richman Community sixth to eighth graders gain more direct access to nature and the outdoors.  Local Excursions will take place to sites such as Fullerton Arboretum and Laguna Lake, while Natural Area Excursions will focus on camping and outdoor adventures at Lake Arrowhead and other locations.  Two part-time administrators for the program will be hired.   There will be funding available for 100 youth per excursion, with 10 local and 5 bigger camps planned during the year, and Fullerton School District will advertise the program.

A presentation was made recommending that the City adopt a Memorial Bench, Tree, and Kiosk Policy.  This policy is designed to respond to the public’s desire to commemorate a loved one with some form of public memorial.  Such memorials are not funded by the city but by individual citizens.  Several options were discussed.  Metal benches are available for a $3, 200 fee which only covers the bench, its plaque and ongoing maintenance.  Benches in a new location also require a $2,000 cement pad, increasing the cost to $5,200.  Another option is custom wood benches, made from locally reclaimed wood for a cost of $8,500, including craftsmanship by local artisans.  Finally, plaques for a fee of $550 would be allowed for commemorative trees.

In discussion, commissioners wondered about accessibility to the public and if the memorials were present in all parts of the city.  In response, it was explained that they are expensive, as the cost is not budgeted by the city, and only five had been installed in the last year.  A significant part of the purchase price must go to future maintenance, as vandalism can be a problem. Commissioners recommended that the policy be adopted with the following guidelines: that less expensive, more earth -friendly alternatives to cement pads be explored; that more affordable trees be offered for planting, and that there be an effort to use local materials and support local artisans with this public service.

In commissioner comments, the Fullerton on Foot Walking Tours designed by Fullerton Community Center staff member Aimee Aul were commended by Commissioner Wehn for their unique character and wealth of information.  These tours are advertised regularly on social media and the FCC website.

Commissioner Lindstrom inquired about the use of Ebikes on trails.  Local governments can ban them if they cause a nuisance in the state of California.  Ebikes are increasingly popular, especially with seniors.  A survey on the use of Ebikes is being done by staff in order to respond to this concern.  The commissioners also would like a future presentation from the police department with input about vandalism, break-ins and so forth to help determine maintenance costs to city.

Members of the public asked for clarification about the requirements for people who want to volunteer for city programs. The city requires fingerprints and a TB test for clearance.  The poor condition of signboards on Hiltscher Trail was mentioned.  Staff referred interested volunteers to the city’s current Adopt a Park program to help with maintenance.