Seaweeders Garden Club unveils Solana Beach Post Office beautification project

Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society Board Member Trudy Synodis, Postmaster Betty Rabreau and Seaweeders Member Michele Stribling. Photo/Kristina Houck

By Kristina Houck

The Solana Beach Post Office has a new look — thanks to the Seaweeders Garden Club.

Operating under the umbrella of the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society, members of the Solana Beach club collaborate on beautification projects throughout the city. Club members unveiled their latest project on April 15, talking with community members about the project and requesting donations for future work as visitors mailed their tax returns at the post office.

“We’ve been very busy little bees, or ‘Seaweeders,’ I guess,” said Solana Beach native Michele Stribling with a smile. A member of Seaweeders, she also serves as the Civic and Historical Society’s garden club liaison. “It feels wonderful. It feels so good to know that you’ve helped.”

The previous walkway was a trail people made by walking through the old landscaping, which was overgrown with weeds.

The Seaweeders installed new plants, mulch, sidewalk and stones at the Solana Beach Post Office. Photo/Kristina Houck

Volunteers from Solana Beach Presbyterian Church helped remove some of the old plants at the post office in late February. Club members then installed new plants, mulch, sidewalk and stones.

Launched with the club’s poinsettia sale in December, the approximately $10,000 project was made possible by the sale, a county grant, and donations from the city’s Public Arts Advisory Commission, the Del Mar Rotary Club and individuals.

“I thought they were just going to pull a few weeds. I had absolutely no idea of the magnitude of the job,” said Postmaster Betty Rabreau, who has been at the Solana Beach site for four months, but with the U.S. Postal Service for 25 years, including stints at locations in Valley Center, Del Mar and Oceanside. “It’s wonderful.”

Del Mar-based Island Construction owner Kevin Hennessy and landscape designer Brandon Schmiedeberg were also on site on Tax Day to install a sculpture donated by Solana Beach artist Christie Beniston. The 10-foot-tall, multi-colored garden topiary will be the first of many temporary art pieces displayed on a rotating basis at the post office, which is located at 153 South Sierra Ave.

Originally created for a sculpture exhibit in Palm Desert, the piece was most recently displayed at San Diego Botanic Garden.

“They’ve done such a beautiful job of creating a beautiful landscape space,” said Beniston, who has lived in the community for 18 years. “It’s just wonderful to be a part of the restoration project.”

Although much of the work is complete, the Seaweeders plan to install a bike rack and paint the flagpole. The group also plans to install two benches. They need about $1,800 to finish the project.

“I can’t say enough about them,” said Rabreau. “I can’t say enough about their hard work and how much the community rallies around them.”

To donate to the project, send donations to Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society at P.O. Box 504, Solana Beach, 92075. Designate donations to ‘Post Office Project.’

For more information about the club, visit