The Cardiff-by-the-Sea Business Association established the Beautification Committee in 1963 and leased the railroad right-of-way, Orville Carpentier and wife Jessica took care of the parkway along San Elijo Avenue mowing and watering.
The Beautification Committee launched Project Pride, chamber members raised funds, planted palm trees, acquired planters and black-topped the business parking lot and in 1966 the chamber erected a sign on the southwest corner of Chesterfield and San Elijo Avenue depicting the gateway to Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
As a community of the city of Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea was able to acquire a funding allotment which allowed them to plant more palms, install a sprinkler system, create a walking path from Orinda Drive to Mozart and erect guard rails and 1987 found city officials and scouts gathered to raise the flag, a gift from a caring community, on the newly installed flag pole.
In 1989 the Statser Bridge was erected over the creek at the foot of Liverpool which created a continuous pathway.
A request from the chamber and Town Council for a grant for park maintenance was granted by the city in 1994.
Through the years volunteers have shown up on designated dates to clean, haul and beautify, a practice that continues today and in the late 1990s under the direction of Chamber Director Mike Clark, the Cardiff Botanical Society was formed and members added their efforts to assist in park maintenance.
Today Linda Lee, a representative of the Cardiff 101 MainStreet, and her crew keep the parkway in tip-top shape and it has been recognized on the Sunset Magazine Blog. She stresses that to the best of her knowledge it is the only public park that is organic, sustainable and water-wise. What makes this park unique is no gas-powered equipment is used and it sets an example that can be used in parks and schools of what actually works. The park further demonstrates that flowers can be grown in a water-wise environment.
American in Bloom visited city of Encinitas in 2003 and judges included the parkway on their walking tour and were impressed with its beauty.
In 1994 after the passing of Orville Carpentier, the chamber named the parkway in his honor as one of the first chamber presidents as well as an early volunteer who worked to maintain the area for many years. Orville was named Cardiff-by-the-Sea Citizen of the year in 1976.
After the untimely death of Wayne Holdan, who dedicated countless hours to the park, the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce raised funds and in 1999 erected a statue along the pathway honoring Wayne’s efforts and representing all volunteers.
Plans are being formulated to create a memorial area in the parkway in 2011 commerating the 100th anniversary of the founding of our community by J. Frank Cullen.
This “front garden” of the business district is certainly a reason to be proud that Cardiff-by-the-Sea is the place we call home.
Portions of this article, called “Cardiff Special,” appeared in the Aug. 29, 1991 issue of The Beach News with other facts from Jessica Carpentier’s scrapbooks.
Filed Under: A Place To Call Home