Hollis M. Stewart Children’s Park Almost Ready
By Vicky Rinek
After more than two years, the Hollis M. Stewart Park on Pine will soon open to the public.
“This transformation will impact Wrightwood for decades to come,” said Natalie Lopiccolo, president of WCSD. “Hollis M. Stewart Park is, once again, a central cornerstone of the Village. It is an example for future generations of what’s possible for our Village.” Lopiccolo and past board member Michelle Schneider worked countless hours of due diligence, researching, planning, and collaborating with the community to create a perfect design. The State Grant procedures were tackled by General Manager Tammi Keen, requiring numerous hours working with State officials to secure the funds. Wrightwood Village Foundation collected nearly $82,000 from community donations for the added park features.
WCSD hired Innovative Playgrounds Company a renowned playground construction company based in Whittier, Ca. for the construction. BCI Burke is the manufacturing company, an internationally known commercial playground manufacturing company from Fond du Lac, Wi.
The unique playscape design is to encourage co-play between children and parents. The elements are distanced to allow ample space for safe play and interactions. Due to the unique topography, the playscape will enable visitors to experience the park from several different levels and aspects.
Other features include rock climbing structures, swings, and slides, seamlessly integrating into the natural landscape. A custom climbing wall and, for younger children, a custom climbing net; a new pedestrian bridge. The Konnection® swing is an engagement and interaction swing where adults and children can ride together. The Seat Rocker allows 2 to 4 children to teeter together. There is a six-seat swing-set, a large 8’ 11” boulder made of reinforced concrete and glass fiber to climb on, and a multi-user Spinetic® to spin around. The center of attraction is the Rope venture. A 10ft. X 9.5 ft dome with ropes interior for groups of children to climb. The Viper® slide, Kid Koaster®, Rock Panel, 16 Ft. Tunnel, and Charade® panel give children a perfect play area to be creative. Encouraging them to explore, build body strength, and challenge them in a safe environment.
The cost for the park construction and equipment came to $296,313.04. The complete turn-key service provided everything from site assessments, design drawings, project management, playground equipment, and installation. All equipment complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guideline.
A grand opening is just weeks ways. Waiting for a few small pieces to arrive to complete the project and open the park to the community. Watch for details on the WCSD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wrightwoodcsd/
Neighborhood Leadership Gather
By Vicky Rinek
Community leaders of Wrightwood gathered for a discussion on the challenges of their organizations.
Panelists included representatives from the Wrightwood Property Owners Assoc., CERT, Wrightwood Village assoc., Fire Safe Council, Chamber of Commerce, Timberline Lions, Rental Property Association CERT, Wrightwood Arts, Blue Society, Music in the Pines, and Friends of the Library.
The event was co-sponsored by the Wrightwood Community Services District, GM Tammie Keen, with the room, at the Community building set up as a round table. Near fifty guests from various organizations attended the event. These meetings allow neighborhood association board members and emerging leaders to share best practices, learn from each other, and have dialogue.
They had the opportunity to introduce themselves, describing each group’s mission, challenges, and volunteer opportunities.
First to speak was John Kozyra, president of Wrightwood Property Owners Assoc. The WWPOA is an advocacy group, a 501c4, with a mission to protect the property’s value and enhance the community. They aim to ensure local government is aware of the community’s wants and needs. The group also works to enrich the community by sponsoring community events. In addition, they generate a monthly newsletter available to all residents through email or the PO Box. They are not a homeowners association, and membership is free.
The Wrightwood Village Foundation speaker, Bruce LaClare, told the group that WVF, a 501c3 nonprofit, worked to bring smaller organizations together under its umbrella, such as the Wrightwood Christmas Tree Fund, Village Trail, and The Hollis Steward Children’s Park Fund Raiser. In addition, he hopes to bring together other groups, such as the Senior groups. Currently, WVF raised $80K for the restoration of the Park.
The community emergency response team (CERT), director spoke. CERT’s purpose is to ensure the community is prepared in an emergency. The fact is that Wrightwood would be isolated during a natural or manufactured disaster. Therefore, it would be up to CERT and its members to help the community with preparation and training. CERT can reduce uncertainty, fear, and panic and increase your chances of survival. Stretch told the group that an upcoming training event would take place in November, encouraging participation in the four-week course.
The Chamber of Commerce rep mentioned that the Chamber’s goal is to enhance business ownership in the Village, work together, network, and advocate on behalf of the business community. The Chamber holds four main events: the Mountaineer Days, Classic Car Show, Chili Cook-off, and Holiday festival.
The Firesafe Council member spoke about the 501c3 organization. Their group has a vested interest in wildfire prevention and loss mitigation. They aim to educate the public about reducing the risk to their homes. The WFS Council holds a pine needle and green waste event, chipping brush for defensible space, and conducts safety projects and education.
Wrightwood Historical Society’s president talked about the museum. The museum is open most Saturdays to the public. The museum houses various display cases showcasing artifacts of old Wrightwood. The Historical Society hosts guest speakers each month and rotating displays. She mentioned the upcoming guest speaker would share his collection of antique guns of the Old West. In addition, they are planning a Christmas party and a cookie exchange.
A member from the Friends of the Library shared their work. Their members volunteer at the library, sell a collection of books, and provide unique entertainers for the community. For example, this Halloween, there will be a magician to perform illusions to entertain children. The primary objective is to encourage and promote the use of the library. In addition, a book sale will be held on September 24, where a Jensen’s bag filled with books will only cost $5.
Timberline Lions of Wrightwood (TLW) president Jill Carltonpayne spoke about the Club. The TLW, a 501c3 organization, is a community service group. The mission is “To Serve.” Their primary focus is to provide children and adults with free vision examinations and prescription glasses. They also offer scholarships to Serrano seniors and promote educational programs in Snowline schools. TLW also supports summer camps for blind, deaf, and diabetes students. They raise funds through various events, including Bingo Night, BBQs at community events, and raffles.
Sue Parody, with her husband Ron, oversees the care of the Village Trail. The trail group is under the umbrella of the Wrightwood Village Foundation. Volunteers maintain the trail, and donations pay for supplies. The trail was established for children to walk safely to school. There is a planned clean-up and a planting daffodils date. Volunteers can meet at the west end of the trail, where they will do minor work, plant bulbs, paint rocks, and line up pebbles along the path.
Volunteer Pam Wright suggested that each group write in their calendar of events to the community would have one calendar for visitors to view online.
Everyone felt this meeting was very productive and suggested they meet again, possibly quarterly, to update each group’s progress.
Wrightwood Property Owners to Address Winter Traffic issues
Supervisor Paul Cook’s Office will call a meeting of all of the public agencies who are responsible for serving the Wrightwood area that is impacted by SNOWPLAYERS during winter snow time. The Wrightwood CSD will serve as HOSTS for the meeting on October 19, in the Wrightwood Community Building. The purpose of the “Winter Traffic Meeting” is to coordinate services for public safety.
In the Winter of 2020 the community of Wrightwood was severely impacted by a failure of those public services. The result the following:
1. Emergency medical response service average response time was 45 minutes
2. Roads into and out of Wrightwood were blocked by illegally parked vehicles
3. Traffic flow was also impeded by the number of vehicles required to make a stop at the intersection of SH2 at the post office and street vendors on the side of SH2
4. The number of port-a-potties funded by Wrightwood tax dollars were inadequate and visitors urinated and defecated in overflowing port-a-potties, in private yards, and on the side of the road causing health hazards.
5. The high volume of visitors stopped for snowplay left their trash and debris on the side of streets and roads.
6. Trespassing on private property by snowplayers was intimidating to private property owners and residents.
Many voices together are more powerful than one voice alone. The mission of the WWPOA is to unite the voices to protect the property values, quality of life, and lifestyle in Wrightwood. We can not be safe, we can not enjoy our lifestyle and our homes have no value if we can not be certain that all public agencies effectively perform the services paid for by our tax dollars.
On October 4, at 5:30 p.m. the Wrightwood CSD will open the Public Comment of their monthly meeting (The last meeting before the Winter Traffic meeting held here).This will be an opportunity for the residents and property owners in Wrightwood to let our local elected officials who will be hosting the meeting know how important it is that the public agencies, coming together for the Winter Traffic Snowplayer meeting, FOCUS ON MITIGATING THE ISSUES IDENTIFIED. (Just stating general plans or business as usual is NOT GOOD ENOUGH! We need to hear specific plans for MITIGATING problems ALREADY IDENTIFIED. What are they going to do differently?)
The WWPOA encourages YOU to speak up during the PUBLIC COMMENT session at the October 4th meeting. Speakers are allowed 3 minutes. We hope to have speakers focus on one of the issues needing mitigation. We hope we will have enough speakers to cover every topic.
You are encouraged to make your voice heard regardless of the topic.
If you intend to make a statement about one of the topics please email email@example.com to let them know they will have a public comment..
Please bring family, friends, neighbors with you to the meeting. NUMBERS do count!
Now is our opportunity to stand up for Wrightwood, protect our property values, the quality of life, and our lifestyle.
It is understood the snow belongs to everyone and that we live in the forest, and it’s always going to be a concern...but we pay taxes for public services to manage it and keep us safe too. Asking for MITIGATION to identified severe health and safety problems is not unreasonable.
We hope to see you at the WW CSD meeting at 5:30pm (sharp) on October 4th in the Wrightwood Community Building.
Legislative Action and Government Relations Committee
760 316 4255