In 1990, Fallbrook Village Association (FVA) board member Charlie Wolk discovered that Block Grant funds requested by County Services Area #81 (CSA81) were scheduled to be returned because a site targeted for a county park had been sold. Could a private non-profit organization acquire and develop a downtown park with Block Grant funds instead of the County Parks and Recreation Department? The answer was "yes" and the search for another site was on to beat the deadline. The County requirements dictated that the purchase of any site required: a willing seller, be at fair market value and verified by two MAI Appraisers. Of the five sites considered, on the Beech Street property met the requirements. "The Fallbrook 2000" partnership negotiated the purchase, opened escrow and agreed to assign the escrow to the FVA.
After land costs, only $40,000, remained for park development. There was trouble ahead; the property fronted on three streets, Mission Ave., Ash and College, which created the economic threat of extensive street and drainage improvements. Another problem was the possibility of the requirement for a Major Use Permit due to plans for a children's play area. The development costs would exceed the cost of the land.
We yelled "help and the County Department of Planning and Land Use responded. The street and drainage improvements could be avoided by adjustments in design and the Major Use Permit was avoided by a change of ordinance that allowed a small children's play area. Only one more major obstacle stood in the way, CSA 81 had to guarantee they would maintain the Park if something happened to the FVA. CSA 81 agreed and we were underway.
Landscape Architect Jay Mulder designed the Park and volunteer Pat Scott, a Civil Engineer, supervised the first phase of development. Contractor Larry Yokum donated the grading and fill dirt was delivered at cost.
From the project's beginning, a shortfall in development costs was anticipated. A request for funds to finish the Park was submitted to CSA81 by the Village Association. The request was approved and the children's play area and the final phase of landscaping was finished in 1995.
Beech Street Park is a Park with no source of revenue for maintenance . . . it was up to the Village Association to find a way. Stepping up to the plate was the Fallbrook Public Utility District with a commitment to provide water at no cost and East Brothers Landscaping provided landscape maintenance through 2002. Western Commercial Construction, Landscaping Division, maintained the Park's landscaping until the Fallbrook Beautification Alliance (FBA) took over the monthly maintenance costs in 2007. The FBA continues providing monthly maintenance in addition to helping with costs for tree trimming and other major landscape costs.
"The Totum Bird", a piece of public art by Kort Heyneman, was added to the entrance of the park in November 2002 . This was made possible through the generosity of Otis and Linda Heald and the Angel Society of Fallbrook.
In May of 2012, in recognition of her years of service to our community, Beech Street Park was renamed in honor of Jackie Heyneman, founder of Save Our Forest. This important occasion was celebrated with a joyous party where countless friends and community leaders praised Jackie for her extraordinary service to Fallbrook and making this park a reality.