Updated: Feb 7
Welcome to 2020, a new decade for San Diego and Balboa Park. With Mike Kelly’s decision to step down as president in January after 14 years in the job, I find myself trying to top a leader of unparalleled dedication. Opportunities are limitless for the Committee of One Hundred, the park's oldest support group, and challenges will persist.
One of our roles as the premier, all-volunteer support group is to lend our voice to all issues in the park: Tourists stream into San Diego by the millions but if they can't find parking they go elsewhere; the park attracts the homeless when authorities push them from downtown; we hope to attract a new generation of San Diegans who want to enjoy the park at night as well as in the daytime.
In the Spring 2020 edition of the newsletter, board member and architect Robert Thiele discusses our Palisades project, touching on all these matters. An unsightly parking lot stands in the way of creating a new pedestrian destination where visitors should be able stroll safely between museums and the Starlight Bowl. If we can bring back some of the magic of the 1935 landscaping and architecture, it will serve as a backdrop for our great institutions, especially with the scheduled opening of the Comic-Con Museum in mid-2021.
One of our roles as the premier, all-volunteer support group is to lend our voice to all issues in the park; we hope to attract a new generation of San Diegans who want to enjoy the park at night as well as in the daytime.
Our dedicated board can't accomplish all this alone. We need your help as volunteers and donors. Please sign up to help on one of our four committees. Tell your friends about C100 and encourage them to join. We play a unique role in the park in partnership with the dozens of other organizations without whom Balboa Park cannot become a world-class destination.
If Balboa Park is truly our crown jewel, we should treat it accordingly. It needs more funds, better governance and countywide energy from all San Diegans to keep it shining brilliantly into the future. As Lew Scarr wrote in The San Diego Union in 1969, "San Diego is a city with a park for a heart ... Balboa Park is not finished. Neither is San Diego."
Roger Showley, President