Monday, November 18, 2013

Fairview Park A-Buzz With Activity Sunday

 A PERFECT PARK DAY
Yesterday was a perfect day for activities at Fairview Park, Costa Mesa's Natural Jewel.  It was a blue, cloudless sky and just enough breeze off the ocean to make everyone gathered at the park comfortable, whatever their chosen activity might have been.
PICNIC TIME
I chose to spend part of my day with the folks invited to a picnic by Costa Mesans For Responsible Government (CM4RG) at the picnic shelter on the west side of Placentia Avenue, but hundreds of my neighbors chose to visit the Orange County Model Engineers and the Costa Mesa Firefighters on the east side for hot dogs, tamales and train rides.  Some did both.
CORRECTION:  The picnic permit was acquired by Cindy Brenneman, who invited her friends in  CM4RG and others, who invited others.
KEEPING IT NATURAL
Signs on display capture the theme - that Fairview Park should remain a Natural Park, free from development to be enjoyed on days like yesterday by ALL members of the public.
AND MORE...
Here are some of the other images I captured during my couple hours at Fairview Park...
PARK AMBASSADORS AND ACTIVITIES
Under the watchful eye of one of our freshly-minted Park Ambassadors, the invited guests to the picnic enjoyed many activities, as listed here:
NATIVE AMERICAN MUSICIANS
Native American musicians explained the roots of their music and played for the more than 100 guests in attendance.
SPEAKERS DESCRIBE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PARK
Tribal elders explained the importance of Fairview Park as a site of historical significance and reverence.
GENIS DESCRIBES THE PARK'S VALUE
Former mayor and current councilwoman Sandra Genis welcomed the crowd and explained her views on the importance of Fairview Park.

PAINTING FACES
Activist Greg Ridge, shown here chatting with former (and future?) council candidate John Stephens, set up shop to paint the faces of guests.
BONES AND COGSTONES
Visitors stopped to ask questions at informational booths set up.  This one had a great display of bones and Native American artifacts like those found at Fairview Park.
THE MAYOR DROPS IN
Mayor Jim Righeimer apparently got wind of the event and showed up with daughters in tow.  Here they investigate one of the booths.  In the second image Righeimer "takes care of business" while the girls learn to chip stones from Native American artisans.  I later saw him escorting a small covey of people down past the vernal pools, decomposed granite path and off toward the site of the potential tot lot and parking area near Pacific Avenue.
GUIDED TOURS
Guides were available for tours of important elements of Fairview Park for groups of all ages.
HAPPY VISITORS
Retired Costa Mesa Planning Executive Perry Valantine and his wife, Pam, joined the throng.
TAKING THE PULSE
Nature-loving activist Chris Blank was seen taking the pulse of the event, schmoozing with members of the crowd and exchanging information with the mayor during the day.
DOING FIELD WORK
Member of the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee Anna Vrska joined friends to hear the presentations and soak up some sun.
INTERESTED VISITORS
Many other residents sat on the lawn and listened as speakers regaled them with information about Fairview Park.
 WHY NO NEWS?
"So, why didn't you publicize this event, Potstirrer?", you ask...  Well, the hosts advised me that it was a "family and friends, invitation-only event", and asked me NOT to publicize it - so I didn't.  That plan apparently fell apart, since it was all over the local media and social media.  I kept my word...

KUDOS TO CM4RG
Thanks to Robin Leffler and Cindy Brenneman and their hard-working  CM4RG amigos for hosting this very positive, uplifting event.






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4 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

Great event!
Cindy and friends did an excellent job organizing it.

11/18/2013 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

It was great!
We are reminded once again why we
need to keep Fairview Park natural and
undeveloped.
Thank you to all who made this happen.

11/18/2013 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

A fine event on a perfect day! Many thanks to Cindy and all who worked with her to make it happen.

11/18/2013 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

I wish we could have invited the whole city!

Thanks very much for the nice article, Geoff. I’m glad you could come. Cindy Brenneman did a fantastic job of organizing the fun. She is amazing. She will probaly be embarrassed by this shout out but she deserves it!

The reason it was invite only is you can only get a permit for up to 200. CM4RG members were invited guests, and invited our families and friends and then it got passed along to friends and friends of friends and etc. Fortunately less than 200 showed up at any one time.

Maybe next year CM4RG can afford a Special Events permit and invite everyone. Apologies to anyone reading about this who would have come if they had known.

Geoff, maybe your writing about it will help people appreciate what a rare jewel Fairview Park is and how important it is to preserve it as a natural resource for our children and future generations. Open, wild land like this will only get more rare and precious as time goes on.

I had a lot of fun and learned a lot from the exhibits and naturalists. One of the highlights for me was making shell bracelets with my three granddaughters. One of the women who taught us is a Costa Mesa resident. Her family has lived in what we now call Costa Mesa for thousands of years!

11/18/2013 11:52:00 PM  

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