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Del Mar’s Elitism: It ain’t necessarily so!
December 2008 | Jon Edelbrock, Lifeguard Sergeant


When traveling, I always find myself comparing each new place to Del Mar; from the memories I’ve created to the simple beauty of our coastal town. In an age of post-modern pod-like development practices, our small community has managed over many years to purchase and preserve the short stretch of coastal property comprised of Powerhouse and Seagrove Parks. A rich history of progressive community guardians has staved off the powers of development along Coast Boulevard, instead choosing to create a common area that has helped forge a strong community with these two parks as the focal point.

My personal history with Del Mar didn’t begin until the early nineties when, as a teenager, I became a Lifeguard for the city. During my first summer of employment, and many times in years to come, I was often summoned to store discarded city equipment in the Powerhouse building, some eight years prior to refurbishing, empty trash cans in both parks, move swimmers out of the surfing area in front of Powerhouse Park, and many other tasks related to the parks. These tasks had a nascent effect on my relationship with this community; from the people I would meet to the lessons I would learn.

Over the years, what was initially a summer job and general acquaintance with this community has grown into a lifestyle and a major part of who I am. Like with many others, our relationship with the Del Mar community finds its nucleus to be our two coastal parks and the Community Center; serving as places to be both close to the natural environment and the people we share these beautiful places with. Major events in my life, as in others’ lives, have centered around this area that many of us visit each day; ranging from weddings, spiritual events, birthday celebrations, concerts, and as a general community meeting place.

The City of Del Mar’s strong commitment to keeping these areas for the people has evolved into continued dividends for those that choose to enjoy their offerings. Our parks and Community Center offer something for everyone; from a tranquil moment to an ebullient wedding; or a place for your child to take their first steps or an older adult to keep their mind and body sound. The balance of preserving open space and being fiscally responsible can be a game of political ping-pong; however through strong management local government has found a healthy balance of preservation and financial solvency.

The history of this area could have easily been squandered by greed for a quick dollar to fill the city coffers. I, like an untold number of others, am grateful for the battles waged by guardians of the past and the dedication of current citizens and city staff for their continued dedication to maintain this local turf.



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