Parks and Recreation January 9 Meeting

Adrian Meza 2023

New commissioner Adrian Meza (The youngest commissioner in the entire City)

New commissioner Adrian Meza was sworn in. Kathy Lira was elected chair and Damion Lloyd vice-chair for the coming year. Other commissioners include Danielle Nava-Mijares, Erik Wehn, Angela Lindstrom, and Jensen Hallstrom.

Daisy Perez, Deputy City Manager, delivered Parks and Rec updates. The Acacia Park plan was approved at the last council meeting and an order has been placed for new equipment which should arrive by summer. The relocation of Pooch Park to Brea Dam Park is in its final design phase. The Brea Park bridge replacement is complete. The council has established a committee to plan for the future of Union Pacific Park. Postcard mailings and social media are being used to notify nearby residents that the committee will hold a public meeting next month and to solicit their input. In West Coyote Hills, construction is almost done on the first trails. They are currently awaiting approvals from OC Health Agency and US Fish and Wildlife in order to open. Sports leagues have been allocated to partner groups, and play can begin soon.

Camp Hillcrest was held over winter break and sold out, with 35 kids attending. A spring brochure highlighting city classes is being released soon; there were 1,000 class registrations in the fall. The popular “Discover Fullerton on Foot” tours continue, and this month will feature Laguna Lake. “Crafternoons” has been a popular event at the community center and has added additional sessions. A March 11 wedding show will be held at the center as well.

A member of the public commented on the “significant neglect” of city trees, recounting that the trees planted by her son as an Eagle Scout project have disappeared, along with many others around town. Poor maintenance of the vegetation on Bastanchury trail was mentioned, as well as the elimination of established pines at the North County Court House. There was concern that the status of Fullerton as a tree city could be jeopardized by ongoing neglect. Commissioner Lindstrom inquired about the potential deficit of trees and asked staff to report on how many have been removed as well as how many are planned for re-planting.

The Public Works representative responded that they have not been able to plant in recent years until the Urban Forest Master Plan is passed. Currently the planting of 200-300 trees is backlogged, but they will be able to plant 500 as soon as the plan is passed. Money is available and sites have been designated. Additionally, a new city arborist, Julio Jacobo, has been hired to oversee the process.

There was a public meeting Wednesday January 11 regarding the future of Maple Community Center. Nearby residents were asked for input on how they want the center to be used, and the YMCA also has a proposal to present.

Commissioner Wehn requested that a future agenda item include youth sports leagues, with a particular focus on the Matt Weiner Football league, to understand why it is structured differently than other leagues. Since one criteria for leagues is that they be non-profits, he wonders if the city can request financial records from this organization.

Commissioner Lindstrom asked to discuss water catchment strategies in light of ongoing drought conditions and discover if other cities are finding ways to save rainwater. The police department will make a presentation at the next meeting about its Park Ambassador program in an effort to patrol and protect local parks.

Commissioner Meza asked if there were any plans to re-vitalize the city-wide New Year’s Eve celebration called “First Night”, which had been eliminated from the city budget in recent years. Staff reports that it is expected to resume again at the end of this year and has been included in upcoming budget proposals.

Next meeting is Feb 13 at 6:30 pm