Live Oak Centennial+1 Celebration

On Saturday, July 17, 2021, we’re celebrating the 101st birthday of Live Oak County Park! The event, which runs from 9:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. includes a day full of activities that are sure to appease visitors of all ages and interests.

The schedule includes a “peeps and pooches” dog walk, jumbo tree planting, native tree giveaway, reptile talks, animal touch tables, birds of prey demonstrations, lawn games, bounce houses, a climbing wall, a photo booth, face-painting, food trucks and a movie after sunset. There is no cost to attend, and all are welcome. Live Oak County Park is located at 2746 Reche Road, Fallbrook, CA 92028. Get additional details on the Facebook event page and view the event flyer.        

Over the past year, staff have been readying the park for its centennial-plus-one birthday party; adding benches, replacing walkways, installing exercise equipment, improving restrooms and restoring two concrete tables that date back to 1920. Additionally, and in partnership with the Fallbrook Save Our Forest Committee, volunteers and staff have planted more than 100 native trees and shrubs.

“Parks are the heartbeat of a community,” said Brian Albright, Director of the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation. “Live Oak has, for decades, served as a heritage gateway into Fallbrook, popular for parties, festivals and drive-up entertainment. Coincidentally, in 1920 the world was emerging from a pandemic. The region prevailed, just as we have recently. Live Oak County Park is a place where citizens can find community, peace and natural rejuvenation.”  

With a more than a hundred years to look back on, here are some milestones in park history:

  • In 1919, the Chamber of Commerce of Northern San Diego County, led by President Ben Thorpe, voted to formally establish a park at Fallbrook’s Reche Grove, in memory of George Houk. A past president of the Chamber and philanthropist, Houk helped finance the purchase of the first 7 acres of the park.
  • Denver Lamb and his wife Lucy also wanted to save the magnificent oak trees, so they deeded the land between the two creeks to the Northern Chamber of Commerce, expanding acreage to 10. The community then embarked on improvements; Denver Lamb and his son-in-law Eric Hindorff dug a well, installed a flagpole and built round concrete picnic tables modeled after some at Camp Cajon rest stop, 75 miles to the north.
  • On Saturday July 17, 1920 an official dedication was held with patriotic music, speeches, poetry and flag-raising. Part of the dedication agenda included the adoption of a park name. Options included Houk Memorial, Reche Grove, Fallbrook Grove, El Encino, and Live Oak – the last unanimously voted in. The park has remained a cornerstone of the community and a well-known rest stop.
  • In the 1990s, the County partnered with the Live Oak Park Coalition to help care for the sprawling and bustling property. 
  • In 2003, the circular concrete picnic tables, barbecues and registers received local historic designation.
  • In recent years, the park welcomed the addition of an off-leash dog park and remains a favorite for weddings and family reunions with six reservable picnic areas and an amphitheater. 

Please join us as we pay tribute to a recreation space that has grown with the Fallbrook community, and that remains a favorite destination for locals and travelers, alike. 

Special thanks to our partners: Live Oak Park Coalition, San Diego County Parks Society, Fallbrook Dog Park Committee, and Fallbrook Save Our Forest Committee. 

2021 Live Oak 101 Flyer V1
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