CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — The Carpentier Community Pathway Project gets under way early next year with the goal of connecting the San Elijo Beach campground to Cardiff’s commercial district by way of a sweeping landscape design. The project is a joint effort of Friends of Cardiff & Carlsbad State Beaches (FCCSB), Cardiff 101 Main Street and MiraCosta College with support from the city of Encinitas and North County Transit District.
The concept was conceived by Robert Mance, owner of the Mercantile Building at the corner of San Elijo and Chesterfield Avenue, and Bill Mahoney, founding board member of FCCSB.
“The idea came to Robert and me at the time of the launch of FCCSB,” Mahoney explained. “We were standing under the Cardiff Kook discussing how to link the community with the state park.”
The design will include walkways and bikeways, a portion of the frontage surrounding the Cardiff Kook statue and the south entry gate into the San Elijo State Beach campgrounds. The objective of the improvements will be to promote human interaction and a sense of community.
Design submissions will be accepted from Feb. 3, the day of the second annual Cardiff Kook Run 10K & 5K, to May 1 from enthusiasts including, but not limited to, landscape architects, architects and designers.
A separate category will include submissions from design students.
Megan Allison is a professor of horticulture at MiraCosta College and will be incorporating the Carpentier Community Pathway Project into the Landscape Architecture curriculum as a class project.
Allison explained that the project presents many challenges to her students including no budget, diverse, heavy traffic and collaboration by several user groups.
“One of the nice things about the project is that Bill, Robert and the others had already gotten the blessing of all parties involved,” she said. “I have to commend them on their abilities.
“We consider this class to be the capstone for the Landscape Architecture certificate and associates degree. The project will benefit students because they’ll acquire valuable experience to add to their resumes.”
The first portion of the project is the physical improvement of the existing pathway. Eventually, there will be plans to create an education and entertainment destination at the San Elijo Campground comparable to Pelican Point at Carlsbad State Beach.
“The final design will be the imprint of several people,” Mahoney said. “There is no hurry. We want to get it right.”
Added Mance, “We practice servant leadership. I call it ‘Coopatition’ — cooperation and collaboration.”
The next step will be to raise funds.
Coincidentally, 2013 marks the origin of this effort with the 50th anniversary of the Businessman’s Association of Cardiff, which later became the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce, founded by Orville Carpentier.
The group established a Beautification Committee and leased the railroad right-of-way that brought traffic from Coast Highway into downtown Cardiff.
Orville and his wife, Jessica, diligently landscaped and maintained the property for years. In 1966, the chamber erected a sign at San Elijo and Chesterfield Avenue marking it the gateway to Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
“As Jessica’s neighbor, Robert had a personal acquaintance with her and, after learning more about her and Orville’s activities on behalf of Cardiff throughout the years, it was agreed that the Cardiff Pathways Project be named the Carpentier Community Pathways Project,” said Sharon Mansfield, trustee of Jessica Carpentier’s estate. “I am delighted to be a part of this moving tribute to Jessica and Orville. It honors and preserves their well-deserved legacy.”
For more information visit cardiffdesigncompetition.com.