SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Construction has begun at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on phase two of the Hillside Improvement Project – which includes the installation of over 20,000 new plants and a new trail system.
The bulldozers, graded trails and orange fencing has many in Point Loma, including “Save Sunset Cliffs” founder, worried about Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Master Plan.
“You just see it as a corporate model coming where they are going to have these small gardens, the trails, trying to completely commercialize what we have here,” said Richard Aguirre.
The makeover is in the middle of phase two of the Hillside Improvement Project – a two-million-dollar restoration plan several decades in the making and with community input.
Some residents, however, do not think it is enough, but during a Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council Executive Committee meeting members answered some concerns.
“When it is finally done, with people like you with input and help, it will be absolutely beautiful,” said one resident.
The master plan will improve trails and access while removing non-native and invasive plants on 35-acres. It will also include replanting 51 Torrey Pines and removing many of the eucalyptus trees.
“All I am asking is to give it some thought and put a temporary hold on the remaining eucalyptus trees and thoroughly consider that because once they are gone, they are gone,” said Point Loma resident, Terry Tieber.
Despite members explaining that beetles are invading the eucalyptus, Point Loma resident Terry Tieber is concerned about the eucalyptus and old eucalyptus at the top of hillside that Katherine Tingley planted a century ago.
“She forested Point Loma. She was the Johnny Appleseed of Point Loma,” said Tieber.
City spokesperson, Alec Philips, sent News 8 a statement saying:
"We have received the community's request to save the tree in question, and are currently reviewing all options as to our next step forward."
The city said major work to the park will be completed by this summer with a four-month plant establishment period to make sure they are successfully growing.
A 5 year maintenance phase will follow afterwards to ensure the success of the plants.
Some of the footage in this video story was shot using a GoPro camera.