Group tries to dissuade city from banning beach fire pits

LA JOLLA — The La Jolla Community Foundation has expressed its support of the seven fire pits at La Jolla Shore beach and has challenged other donors and community foundations to come forward as well to support fire pits in their communities.
The 186 concrete public fire pits, measuring 5 feet by 5 feet, have been a popular part of San Diego beach culture for decades. The city of San Diego has sought to eliminate beach fire pits in Mission Bay, La Jolla Shores, and Ocean Beach in 2010 to help trim approximately $120,000 per year from the city’s budget.
“The fire pits have long contributed to the public’s enjoyment at La Jolla Shores,” said Phyllis Pfeiffer, chairwoman of the La Jolla Community Foundation. “The La Jolla Community Foundation seeks to enrich the environmental, social and cultural experience of La Jolla by creating and preserving public spaces that bring people together.”
The La Jolla Community Foundation’s donation is contingent upon similar contributions to support fire pits on San Diego beaches citywide.
“The city of San Diego has made it clear that we cannot isolate our own beach community for support,” Pfeiffer said. “Donations must go into a central fund to support all San Diego beach fire pits.”
The group is an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, which has helped public-spirited citizens finds ways to address community problems since 1975.
“(Our donors) all share a common purpose: to make San Diego a better place in which to live, work and play,” said Bob Kelly, president of the foundation. “We’re hopeful that other community members help San Diego preserve the culture and enjoyment of these fire pits for generations to come,”
Local city officials are also offering their support to maintain the fire pits. Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said the generous donations of the La Jolla Community foundation provide excellent leadership for other communities.
“The fire pits are such a great part of our beach experience, and I am hopeful that donors in other communities will also step forward so that the fire pits can be preserved on all our beaches,” Lightner said.
For more information on how to help support and preserve the beach fire pits, visit www.sandiego.gov/philanthropycenter/opportunites/firepit.

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