Borrego Sun - Since 1949

By Kim Simas 

Next Steps for the Julian Town Square

 

Last updated 8/23/2021 at 10:12am

Now that the Julian Community Heritage Foundation (JCHF) owns the lot on the corner of Washington and Main Streets in Julian, what is the next step? That is a question that members of the nonprofit organization are asked regularly. After the long road of fundraising, planning and negotiating the purchase of the lot, the JCHF members breathed a sigh of relief and triumph. However, they are very aware that the real work begins now.

Developing the lot into the Julian Town Square will be another long, difficult road but they are up for the challenge. While JCHF would enjoy seeing the lot transformed into the park in the blink of an eye, the reality is that it will take a bit longer than that. The group is currently working on finalizing the plan for the park. The design has gone through a number of changes through the years due to a variety of ideas, community needs and costs. The next steps will involve meeting county permitting requirements and receiving the final approval of the local architectural review board.

The Julian Town Square will be developed in phases once the remnants of the former gas station are removed. The first phase will include the construction of raised planter beds for native plants, the planting of additional trees, installation of picnic tables and creation of walkways covered with decomposed granite. During the second phase, the group hopes to install a covered stage with stone sided amphitheater seating. Between the phases and possibly before the first phase is complete, the group would like to open the park for fundraising events, art displays, farmer's markets, musicians and more.

The biggest hurdle JCHF is up against is raising funds for the development of the Julian Town Square. Fundraising ideas include holding events at the park site, applying for grants and a Kickstarter campaign that will begin at the beginning of the new year. The group is hopeful that fundraising for the park's development will go smoothly now that they own the lot. With the park so close to fruition, donors can remain confident that their funds will be put to good use. There are currently several donor tiers with accolades available from a donor wall to benches and trees; however more naming possibilities are being planned.

Having the once contaminated lot in the center of town developed into a beautiful, usable space in the center of a historic town will be a source of pride and joy for Julian. The Julian Community Heritage Foundation is diligently working on providing the park for the Julian community and its visitors. The community and the greater San Diego County can be involved by donating to the project at http://www.juliantownsquare.org.

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