The Coast News Group
Small Talk

San Dieguito park was a Jaycee project

There’s no limit to the daily use of the San Dieguito County Park in Solbeach from a small birthday party attended by a few folks to a reunion that brings together several hundred people.
Credit for the creation of the 120-acre park goes to San Dieguito Jaycees in 1956. Members Don Royer of Solbeach and Leucadia resident John Topp introduced Little League to the area but lacked a playing field. The Jaycees with San Dieguito Citizen publisher Don Lapham and Solana Lumber sales manager Don Armstrong accepted the challenge to obtain land from Santa Fe Irrigation District. Long on enthusiasm and short of cash, Lapham and Armstrong with the blessing of Prexy Bill Arballo agreed to sell the idea of a park to County Supervisor Dean Howell, who bought it on condition it be deeded to the county. It took several years for the other four supervisors to OK the deal. In the meanwhile, the Jaycees located another parcel at the corner of Stevens and Lomas Santa Fe (then know as Highland) also owned by SFID, on which they built a playing field complete with concrete bleachers.
It later became the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church complex since the land was never owned by the Jaycees. They just poached on it.