Community celebrates new patio at Del Mar Community Building

Del Mar Community Building’s back parking lot has been transformed into a beautified public space, thanks to a grant from San Diego County.

Local nonprofits Del Mar Community Connections and the Del Mar Foundation, both housed at the building, celebrated the new “Community Patio” with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 21 at the Del Mar Community Building at 225 Ninth St. in Del Mar.

“We are just so delighted about how this space turned out,” said Felise Levine, board president of Del Mar Community Connections.

The ceremony marked the completion of the joint community enhancement project, a large canopied outdoor patio enclosed by greenery-filled planters. The 24-foot-by-24-foot shaded site will be used for a variety of community functions, from committee meetings to community events. Anyone in the community, Levine said, can also come and have lunch at the patio space.

“This was a very barren parking lot,” Levine said. “Now it’s just everything that we could have dreamed of.”

Del Mar artist Joanne Sharp painted the ground in green and blue, continuing the ocean-scene theme from the front of the building.

Karla Deerinck, who serves on the board of the Del Mar Foundation, designed the planters, which create a perimeter around the space. Linda Teague, a founding member of the Del Mar Garden Club, filled the planters with roughly 50 different drought-tolerant plants and decorative pieces made from repurposed materials.

“It’s really created a small garden oasis,” Levine said.

“I put my heart and soul into it,” Teague said.

San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts cut the ribbon during the ceremony. The project was made possible with a $20,000 grant from the county’s Community Enhancement Program.

The grant covered the shade structure, tables, chairs, plantings and storage space. Leftover funds, Levine said, will help pay for audio and sound equipment so the space can be used for presentations.

“I thought it was a great project,” said Roberts, who comes to the Del Mar Community Building to meet with community members on the third Friday of every month. “I was just so excited to be able to be a part of this. It’s just a perfect community setting.”

Founded in 1999, Del Mar Community Connections provides programs and services that allow local seniors to live independently and safely in their homes.

The Del Mar Foundation, one of the community’s oldest organizations, was founded in 1982. The nonprofit promotes civic pride and cohesiveness, acquires and preserves open space, improves beaches and parklands, raises and grants funds, and sponsors cultural programs and community events in Del Mar.

“We can’t do it all at the county or at the city,” Roberts said. “It’s great nonprofits like DMCC, the foundation and other nonprofits that do the work here in the community to help people age in their homes and in their community and have a great quality of life.”