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By Jonathan Goetz

February 22, 2018 (Spring Valley) – Approximately 30 community members turned out at a meeting of the Spring Valley Revitalization Steering Committee Thursday, where Supervisor Dianne Jacob received an update from community and law enforcement.

The agenda covered a wide range of topics, from new parks and a community garden to  helping homeless youths and updates on community festivities.

Tina Carlson and Robin Wood updated Jacob and the group that events held last fall and winter in Spring Valley, included various holiday events, breakfast with Santa, Halloween Festival and the Turkey Bowl, among others, such as Senior Brain Camp.

Coming up for Spring/Summer 2018 in Spring Valley are, “It's How We Live, Movies in the Park, Back to School Jam (led by Heaven's Windows),” according to the 21 page update distributed to participants.

On the topic of events, Lemon Grove's 40th anniversary bonfire had about 6,000 people, it was reported verbally to the group, by someone who had attended.

In the report, “Dictionary Hill's 175 acres were acquired in December 2017 for an open space preserve. The preserve/existing trails will remain open to the public while the resource management plan is being developed. Department of Parks and Recreation is working together with the Dictionary Hill Open Space Advocates to assist with the operation,” according to Carlson and Wood, lead staff for Committee A – youth, health and community services.

They also report that La Mesa/Spring Valley and Santee School districts just reapplied for a grant regarding homeless youth.

Regarding public safety in parks, a written report indicates that the Sheriff's Department provided input on the design of Ildica and Estrella Parks, and that volunteer park hosts are in place at Lamar Park and Sweetwater Lane Sports Complex. Participants shared that families are still using the playgrounds in some public parks despite a recent influx of homeless people using the parks during the day.

In October 2017 and January 2018, public design concept meetings took place to identify site constraints and possible improvements. The project will include a play area with shade, disabled parking space and trails, community garden, picnic tables and benches.

County staff has applied for a Land Water Conservation Fund grant to match funds ($280,000/$280,000) for the Ildica Street Park design and construction.

Department of Parks and Recreation and Mount Miguel High School are collaborating to plan a shared cooperation for a community garden.

Lamar Park Off-Leash Dog Area cost will be about $350,000, $300,000 of which came from Community Development Block Grants. The park dog area is anticipated to be complete by Spring or Summer of 2018.

Jacob said she was pleased with the progress adding that there are plenty of volunteer opportunities for those who wish to help with revitalization efforts, notiig that keeping active is especially important for seniors..

Reports were also heard and received regarding roads and infrastructure, economic development, public safety, marijuana, and organic gardening.