Community beautification efforts discussed at recent town hall meetings


Three town hall meetings during October and early November drew more than sixty Hidden Meadows residents to hear representatives from the Hidden Meadows Community Foundation (HMCF) and Boulder Oaks Golf Club present their plans for community beautification.
As noted in the previous edition of the Hidden Meadows News, the Foundation has secured landscaping plans for the two main medians on Mountain Meadow Road that were donated by local resident, Bill Schnetz of Schnetz Landscaping. The selected plants are all easy to maintain and will be surrounded by river rock and mulch. At this point, the Foundation has $18,000 to begin the project within the next month or two, which is not enough to complete the entire project. Since the Foundation is donation-dependent, the completion of the median beautification project may take over a year, even multiple years. The team of volunteers who have been working on this endeavor, including Pat Reilly, chairperson, and Al Nelson, are currently securing quotes for the plants, mulch and rock for the first phase, which will finish the end caps of each median, with the middle sections to be completed as future funding allows. They want to thank community members for their patience as they realize the goal of creating an eye-appealing, long-term entrance to our community.
Mike Skala, Director of Golf Operations, introduced several new members of the Boulder Oaks Golf Club staff, including Jim Farrell, Superintendent of the golf course, Dennis O’Leary, Executive Chef, and Matt Rivera, Director of Tournaments. The enthusiasm and commitment to the success of the golf course by the entire team was contagious. Mike described the improvements to the course that have occurred in his four short months of working there as well as the future plans for improvement. At the last of the three meetings, he revealed a preliminary rendering of Peter Kim’s plans for the two corner lots. Additional town hall meetings will be scheduled in February or March to share the plans with all interested residents.
The collaborative tone of the recent town hall meetings reinforces the notion that we are all in this together. The halcyon days for public golf courses are over, as five courses in San Diego County have gone under within the last few years. Needless to say, such closures have a negative impact on nearby property values. We all have a stake in the success of the golf course, as every property owner would suffer a significant loss in home value if Boulder Oaks was abandoned. Peter Kim, the owner of the Boulder Oaks Golf Course, has invested hundreds of thousands of his own money to prevent our course from closing. He cares deeply about Hidden Meadows and is determined to keep the golf course alive rather than letting it become an abandoned field of weeds like the nearby Escondido Country Club. The first priority, however, is to keep the golf course itself in good shape, and it hasn’t looked as good as it currently does for years. With new staff on board, weed abatement surrounding the course has been ongoing, and efforts to improve the open space on either side of the four-way stop are slowly occurring.
The Foundation and the golf course staff are making every effort to make the entrance to Hidden Meadows attractive and inviting again. Support from the community will help ensure their success.