Most of you have been to Monument Mesa, seen the condition of the “park” and wondered why the park manager still has a job. It’s a desolate, dry, brown field with picnic tables and barbeques that are beat to a pulp. Some of you may recall State Parks’ 2006 attempt to spritz the place up by adding a group picnic area with enormous concrete shelters that provided a new nickname: “Stonehenge.”
Fortunately, they cracked during construction and were torn down. Very few of you vaguely remember decades ago when there were new picnic tables and lush green turf. Families enjoyed spending the day up there with the spectacular 270 degree view. Well, as the old song goes, happy days are “near” again! By late July 2010, we will start renovation of the Monument Mesa Day Use Area. It should be done a few months later, in fall 2010.
The project includes:
- An unstonehenge-like group picnic area, covered with a similar shade sails system that we use at the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center. The group facility will hold 2 groups of 30 people.
- A turf area and native plant gardens.
- Eight additional picnic sites.
- Upgraded educational panels that better explain the estuary and cultural significance of the site.
We think this will attract more people to Border Field State Park, resulting in more people falling in love with the estuary and more advocates for its protection and further restoration. Unfortunately, until we can find $4 million to raise the entrance road, even this renovated Monument Mesa will not be accessible to the pubic by vehicle for part of the year due to flooding. (This season’s closure was especially long because of a major leak in Mexico). Now, if only we could just get 4 people to donate a million bucks, we’d be golden.
-Clay Phillips, Reserve Manager