Whale View Point Home Page
Whale View Point is part of La Jolla, California’s scenic shoreline characterized by sandstone bluffs with sandy pocket beaches and rocky tide pools and views of migrating grey whales. On the north, it commences at the “climbing wall” across from the La Jolla Contemporary Arts Museum, and, on the south, it ends at Whale View Cottage (274 Coast Boulevard). It has some picnic tables and benches for human enjoyment, but it is largely unimproved in its nature. Two of its most popular features are a grassy knoll popular with picnickers and the so-called “Wedding Bowl.” At the Wedding Bowl, couples may wed above the crashing waves, subject to a permit from the City of San Diego (see theweddingbowl.com for more information). In addition to the cobblestone climbing wall, Whale View Point is distinguished by several smaller cobblestone walls and steps which the La Jolla Historical Society has dated back to 1915 when the area was the residence of Ellen Browning Scripps and her sister. Unfortunately, in recent years, due to its popularity, Whale View Point has become a victim of extensive trampling of its vegetation and excessive pedestrian wear on its bluffs. The area is rife with dead and dying plants and the cobblestone walls have been neglected. In addition, two “urban drool” sites are the subject of invasive, non-native and unsightly plants and trees. In short, Whale View Point is in need of restoration in many respects.
The Whale View Point Shoreline Enhancement Project is a project of La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc., a non-profit group advisory to the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department within the jurisdiction of the village area of La Jolla. LJPB has established a working group to work with both the City of San Diego’s Transportation and Storm Water and Park and Recreation Departments to beautify and preserve Whale View Point. The group seeks to raise funds to pay for revegetation of selected areas of Whale View Point and to install pathways in lieu of numerous man-made trails for the preservation of the eroding bluff. The group is working with the City to see that a sidewalk is installed along the entirety of Whale View Point where currently there is a deeply rutted dirt path which no longer can serve the human traffic which is placed upon it. While that capital improvement pends, the group has already obtained several Right of Entry Permits from the City to make improvements (described below). Since its inception in May 2014, the working group has facilitated the work of volunteers to plant and tend both pre-existing and new vegetation, repair and tend the cobblestone walls, paint aged fences and the belvedere at the south end of the site, and to instill a sense of ownership and pride in the community for the treasure which Whale View Point is. Over the course of 2015, at the request of the group, the City has also enhanced the appearance of the area by trimming palm tree beards and removing ice plant and other plants which were obscuring the cobblestone walls.
The Whale View Point Shoreline Enhancement Project is a follow-up to a Coastline Plan undertaken over a period of many years by the La Jolla Conservancy to design plans for upgrading and improving the coastal areas of La Jolla. It builds on a Master Plan initially conceived by local landscape architect Jim Neri and ultimately prepared by landscape architects Spurlock-Poirier, working in collaboration with the California Coastal Conservancy. The overarching goal of the Plan is to preserve and enhance the La Jolla shoreline for current and future generations. The Whale View Point portion of the Plan was prepared thanks to a 2007 grant from the Mark B. Wallner Foundation. It has received input from members of the La Jolla community, the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department, the San Diego District of the California Coastal Commission, the California Coastal Conservancy, the La Jolla Town Council, and the La Jolla Community Planning Association.
The Salt Bush Project was the first effort to beautify Whale View Point and commenced in April 2015. It is located at the southern terminus of the Project and reflects the successful cooperation of public and private efforts and resources. Using donated water (the City will not supply any during the draught), private funds, and a permit from the Transportation & Storm Water Department, the working group was able to remove and mulch extensive dead growth of the native salt bush plants at the site, mulch them in place (so no burden on the dump), and replace the dead areas with California native, coastal and draught-resistant (after they become established) plants. A replanting project is underway to replace those plants which did not survive the summer, using donated plants and volunteer labor as much as possible.
The Eagle Scout project was initiated by Eagle Scout Paul Vickery using a second permit from Transportation and Storm Water. In September, 2015, the scouts refinished and painted the belvedere and the fence posts to the north and removed extensive dead aloe exposed when the City trimmed back the aloe at the Wedding Bowl to illuminate the beautiful cobblestone wall at that location.
The Wedding Bowl project will beautify that location with new native planting, repair of the aloe crescent framing the Bowl, and beautification of the urban drool adjacent to the Bowl. Thanks to private donations and a $8500 grant from the La Jolla Community Foundation, and pursuant to a third permit from Transportation and Storm Water, repairs and planting and decorative boulders will be installed over the winter months of 2015-2016 in an effort to improve the appearance of the area for wedding users and other visitors.