CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — As part of the community’s centennial celebration, Carpentier Parkway was officially dedicated April 30 with an eclectic ceremony that included a band, free food and a drawing for Cardiff-by-the-Sea memorabilia.
“Towns and cities are just a collection of roads
and buildings,” said Councilwoman Teresa Barth, who lives in Cardiff. “Communities are built by the people who live there.”
Beautifying the area known as Carpentier Parkway has been a longtime project of the Cardiff Botanical Society, a committee of the Cardiff 101 Mainstreet Association that leases the land from the North County Transit District.
Over the past seven years, the area has been transformed from a weed-infested, trash-laden eyesore into a promenade teeming with wildflowers, native species and drought tolerant plants.
Linda Lee, a horticulturist with Quality Plantscapes, said the effort has been transformative but also inconsistent.
“It’s always been something that the community has wanted to do but we’ve had our challenges,” she said. Ever the optimist, Lee was enthusiastic about the park’s expansion that includes a promenade.
“This really is a nice addition,” said Cynthia Brentwood, who runs on the trail several times a week. “It makes it more of a gathering place and the flowers and landscaping around it is just beautiful.”
What started with Orville and Jessica Carpentier, who lived across the street from the railroad tracks, deciding to “tidy up their front yard,” has become a community mission.
On any given Saturday a dedicated group of gardeners can be found along the stretch of land between Birmingham and Chesterfield drives beside the railroad tracks.
“We want it to be an example for other communities and other businesses that you can have water-wise, chemical-free areas that are still lush,” Lee said. “Not to mention that it is less-expensive to maintain.”
Described as “frugal, practical and pretty,” the park has tremendous community support.
“We’ve had a dedicated group of volunteers who are cleaning out the massive amounts of trash at either end of the park,” Lee noted as she discussed future plans to light the park and create additional gardening opportunities for residents.
In conjunction with the community’s 100-year anniversary, a “Centennial Garden” was dedicated to forever memorialize the date.
“Today I am honored to dedicate this Centennial Garden to all those people, known and unknown, past and present who have made the community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea a place we are proud to call home,” Barth told the crowd. “May it last another 100 years.”