News Release


DATE: May 28, 2003

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



SANTEE - East County is celebrating a wealth of new ballfields, skateparks, hiking trails and other recreational opportunities designed to keep young people involved in healthy activities, Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said proudly during her 2003 State of the East County Address.

"Lots of communities just talk about creating healthy activities for young people," Jacob told a packed room of East County high school students, parents and business leaders. "East County backs that talk with funding and
elbow grease."

Since 1999, Jacob has been working with sports-related community groups to increase recreational activities for East County's young people. The $3.7 million effort helped bring 46 new ballfields, three football fields, 13 soccer fields, two basketball courts, two skateparks, 13 playgrounds and three scoreboards to various locations throughout East County.

Jacob said East County is home to the only high school artificial turf football field in the County at Grossmont High School, and said she is particularly proud of efforts to help build a new teen center in Lakeside and a gym at the Cameron Family YMCA in Santee. Both facilities are under construction. Jacob believes such facilities can help reduce crime in communities.

"Young people who are interested in sports and hobbies are far more likely to succeed than young people who are not engaged in a healthy activity," Jacob said. "We must continue to provide safe places for our kids to play."

Jacob praised the County's Master Trails Plan which attempts to identify 1,400 miles of trails for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The plan just was released for public review and marks the first time the County has helped communities connect trails to one another, comprehensively, Jacob said.