Community volunteers need help


Last updated 11/21/2019 at 6:04pm

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond just gave a grant of $2,500 for a bench at Live Oak Park. I just paid $650 for a beautiful bench, painted by Fallbrook artist Neill Ketchum, at the Save Our Forest Auction, to be placed in the native garden I am developing at my own expense at the tree-shaded north end of the park.

There are many people who live here and labor unheralded for the good of our community. This project of mine has involved support from the Fallbrook Garden Club, Save Our Forest, the Live Oak Park Coalition, native plant experts and a landscape architect, but not, frustratingly, from the park’s rangers.

I’ve spent two years pulling out invasive weeds, thistles and poison oak by hand. With much assistance from the above, I’ve created a list of plants and a map of where to put them and will begin planting when the ground is soft again.

I am 73 years old, with a broken back, bad knees and crippled hands. I’m trying to retire on Social Security after 50 years as a carpenter, so I have no pension. I am not the only one out here like this – almost none of the volunteers in the groups I’ve mentioned or most others in town, aside from church groups, are under 65.

A community benefit district has been proposed to be funded by a monthly $5 fee charged to customers of Fallbrook Public Utility District. I cannot overstate how strongly necessary this fee is.

Plenty of the charitable works in town are funded at their start. But the trees around town, the medians along Mission, the Land Conservancy’s parks, the library’s succulent planters, everything takes continued maintenance.

Many volunteers are at the point where they can no longer climb ladders at six in the morning to trim trees. If we want to keep living in such a beautiful town, we’ve got to put in the work – or the money. Either agree to the funding fee or come out and volunteer. Or better yet, both.

Jim Lyle


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