Palisades Recreation Center: Bocce Water Fountain and Trees

Members of the Forestry Committee, Cindy Kirven (yellow), Bruce Schwartz (white shirt) and Randy Young (by the plant) watch as two Recreation and Parks workers dig a hole for the new tree near the entrance to the Palisades Recreation Center.


Circling the News posted a story about “Nearby Park Neighbors Under Attack: Resident Being Scapegoated,” on November 16.

A resident responded by writing, “Hmmm, perhaps this is the reason the once wonderful water fountain and water bottle filler is inoperable.”

CTN was unclear what the resident meant and sent a follow up email. The resident explained “Right next to the Bocce Courts is a water fountain that has a water filler next to it-put in at the same time as the courts. It hasn’t worked in weeks.”

CTN spoke to a person in the Palisades Rec Center this morning, November 17 and asked about the fountain.

The worker said that there was a problem with the water line that went to the fountain. He said a work order had been put in, but the repair has not been done, yet.

The sewer/water system at the park is ancient and needs to be replaced. It was built in the 1950s and there have been some attempts to upgrade the structure especially since the “old gym” has been flooded with sewage–several times. In August 2019, CTN reported on the mess.

There has also been a fence erected that stops people from going the loop around the Field of Dreams. CTN asked why and was told that the water fountain by the baseball diamond was going to be repaired. That fence has been up for several weeks, too.



David Card (left ) and Randy Young are working to help replace trees in the park. The Torrey Pine, which was planted next to the playground should help provide shade.

Today, six trees were planted at the Palisades Recreation Center. Two were planted in the lawn south of the library and the third will “guard” the entrance to the park at the corner of Toyopa and Alma Real.

The trees are Queensland Kauri (Agathus robusta). David Card, who heads the Pacific Palisades Community Council Forestry Committee describes it as “tall, narrow and a spectacular tree for the entrance.”  Resident Randy Young donated $910 to purchase the three trees.

The Pacific Palisades Community Council pledged money to purchase three trees to be planted by the playground. The trees planted today are Torrey Pines (pinus torreyana), and Card said they are native to small areas of the SoCal coast and will provide shade.

The playground, which is not ADA-handicapped and doesn’t have a shade structure, lost its sole tree, when it blew over in November 2021.

Young who was at the planting said “there’s nothing more satisfying than planting a tree.”

Many of the trees originally planted in this park have died or had found to be diseased and need to be replaced. In a July 22 story CTN reported:

Additionally, along the border between the park, tennis courts and residences, “property-line trees,” which are Pittosporium undulatum, are dying. The lifespan for this tree/bush is about 40 years, so they are at the end of the plant’s lifeline.

Possible replacements could include Melaleuca quinquenervia (Paperbark) and Lophostemon conferrtus (Brisbane Box).

The melaleucca is a fast-growing tree, that is suitable for large gardens or parks. It is a medium sized to tall tree, growing up to 40 feet..

The Brisbane Box is a moderate to fast growing tree, that can become as tall as 50 feet. As it matures it develops a stately, dense, round-to-pyramidal-shaped crown, which provides shade and cover for birds.

Card guesses that as many as 30 trees could be planted in the vacancies and in place of the Pittosporum trees along the boundary of the park from Frontera to Alma Real, subject to further consultation with RAP Urban Forestry.

“It will provide a growing screen of trees,” Card said, noting that once trees are planted and grow, they should help shield residents from light pollution from the park.

The playground’s sole shade, a tree fell over in November 2021, kids had fun crawling in the branches.


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