I have been working on many important issues over the last several years for the district. You can read about several of them below.
I have been working for three years to improve all of Laguna Grande park and help address the safety concerns of many neighbors whose backyards meet the wooded, southern area.
I am the MPRPD representative on the Laguna Grande Joint Projects Authority (JPA). The group is tasked with improving the park and dealing with the growing problem of unhoused persons unsafely using certain areas. We are currently in the finishing stages of developing the new Trail and Vegetation Maintenance Strategy which will focus on revitalizing many areas of the park and creating additional trails through the troubled wooded area.
The JPA is getting feedback from many other community groups to improve the habitat around the lake by removing invasive species, building new trails that will safely connect the park to our communities, and connecting Laguna Grande to the coastal rec trail, the Fremont Bike Trail, and the exciting planned FORTAG trail system. You can read more about FORTAG below.
The current draft Trail and Vegetation Maintenance Strategy document.
More on the Laguna Grande plan
"An agency convenes with an eye on transforming Laguna Grande Park." Monterey County Weekly, Oct. 13, 2019
"A draft plan for Laguna Grande Park faces criticism for missing the forest for the trees." Monterey County Weekly, Dec. 16, 2021
Frog Pond Expansion
I want to expand both the protected areas and the public access to an expanded Frog Pond.
The Frog Pond is one of the jewels of the peninsula. The part of the park that is open to the public ends at General Jim Moore Blvd. MPRPD owns more land on the other side of General Jim that is commonly called "Frog Pond 2." There are unofficial trails that are found in this region however there is currently no public access allowed. An additional parcel of land was acquired by MPRPD from FORA that is connected to the first to increase the "Frog Pond 2" area to almost 22 acres. These two new properties more than double the Frog Pond area and provide new hiking opportunities that include oak woodlands and beautiful views of the bay.
The "Frog Pond 2" properties are bordered by properties owned by Del Rey Oaks, which includes the "17 acres" area which is a triangular-shaped property that sits between Frog Pond 2 and Canyon Del Rey.
MPRPD has been in talks with the City of Del Rey Oaks to discuss the possibility of acquiring the area to add to Frog Pond 2 to allow for increased habitat protection.
The "17 acres" property owned by Del Rey Oaks sits between Frog Pond 2 and Canyon Del Rey.
I have been a supporter of the proposed FORTAG network for many years and look forward to helping the park district work with the various cities to make it a reality.
The Fort Ord Regional Trail and Greenway (FORTAG) is a proposed 30-mile network of recreational trails connecting communities to open space. FORTAG will connect the coastal rec trail through Laguna Grande and eventually into Fort Ord. It will allow increased hiking and biking opportunities for all of the peninsula communities and access to the outdoors.
The first segment is going through Del Rey Oaks and will connect to a small corner of the Frog Pond to allow for fully accessible and safe new entrances to the park that everyone can use. The new entrances will include a safe overpass allowing people to cross under busy Canyon Del Rey and a viewing platform for wheelchair users and other mobility-contrained visitors who will now be able to enjoy this local jewel. FORTAG will eventually connect the coastal rec trail, from Robert's Lake in Seaside through Laguna Grande, all the way to the Frog Pond, with a safe, off-street trail for walkers, children, and bikers. FORTAG will also work with the Laguna Grande JPA's current efforts to improve the park and safely connect all our communities.
Read more about FORTAG here.
North Region Expansion
While there are many amazing smaller parks in the northern part of the district, I support expanding our services and options in this area.
Our northern area parks include:
Locke-Paddon Wetland Community Park
These are all wonderful areas and allow access to many different habitats, but most of the large MPRPD properties, such as Palo Corona and Garland Park, are found in the southern area of the peninsula in Carmel Valley and down into Big Sur. The more northern areas of the district, from Marina down to Pacific Grove, don't have nearly as many properties in terms of size. MPRPD is continuing to work to increase the properties and opportunities for all the areas of the district.