Solana Beach honored for landscape architecture
Garden club presents city with design award
If there’s one thing for sure about Solana Beach, it’s that the lush city is easy on the eyes.
The California Garden Club Design Council has certainly noticed.
With the Coastal Rail Trail as one of its headline attractions, Solana Beach was to receive a Landscape Design Commendation award in a formal ceremony on Wednesday, after this newspaper’s press time. The Schmidt Design Group also received an Award of Merit in Landscape Architecture for Solana Beach’s stretch of the Coastal Rail Trail along Highway 101.
The trail, with its inviting pathway surrounded by drought tolerant vegetation combined with functional public art, is what earned the accolades of the Garden Club.
“It’s gratifying that others recognize the beauty that we get to enjoy every day,” Deputy Mayor Lesa Heebner said.
Solana Beach resident and master of ceremonies Jerry Thiroway, a former Garden Club president, nominated his city for the award.
“I walk every day in the neighborhood and I go all over Solana Beach to get a different look at things,” he said. “At this time of year, things are blooming everywhere.”
Thiroway said 135 garden club members completed a two-year study observing locations all over the state. He said he made his recommendation to the club’s design council and Solana Beach won “hands down.”
“It is an excellent use of land,” he said of the rail trail. “It’s versatile, you can walk on it, you can run on it, you can ride your bicycle on it, you can walk your dog on it. It’s beautiful, (the scenery) changes almost daily.”
Heebner, who helped develop Solana Beach’s portion of the trail in the early 2000s, said she’d been taking full advantage of the 30-mile pathway that stretches from Oceanside to downtown for decades.
“I’ve been walking or running that trail for 36 years,” she said. “That’s why it was so important to me that it was done right.”
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