A little bit of something for everyone at Harry Griffen Park

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One of East County’s best-kept secrets is a jewel of a park behind Grossmont High School in the Fletcher Hills neighborhood. Harry Griffen Park, at 53 acres, is located on Milden Street, off Water Street. The park has a little of something for everyone.

One of East County’s best-kept secrets is a jewel of a park behind Grossmont High School in the Fletcher Hills neighborhood. Harry Griffen Park, at 53 acres, is located on Milden Street, off Water Street. The park has a little of something for everyone.

A treasure within the park is the beautiful, shaded amphitheater situated on a natural slope within the park. With enough seating for 360 people, the amphitheater is the perfect place for events such as the annual Spring Harp Fest held in March. People will flock to the Sundays at Six concerts scheduled there for June through August. This year, the summer concert series will begin on June 15 at 6 pm.

The open grassy field on the park’s east side is the perfect place to fly a kite. The field covers the underground Grossmont Reservoir. Great blue herons are often tiptoeing across the grass, listening and watching for lizards or frogs to gobble up.

Families will appreciate the wide variety of play equipment in the tot lot. The park also boasts a couple of eucalyptus groves, perfect for picnicking. Dog owners can watch their pets’ jump and leap and run to their heart’s content in a fenced enclosure supported and maintained by volunteers.

People who favor a more natural environment are in for a real treat with the maze of looping dirt paths through some native vegetation and the ever-present eucalyptus trees. Bird-watchers will appreciate the chorus of feathered friends in the trees. They might spot a scrub jay, a Townsend’s Warbler or hooded oriole.

The park’s main drive-in entrance is on Milden Street, off Water Street, just north of Grossmont High School. Two additional pedestrian-only entrances can be used during daylight hours along Poppy Street in La Mesa and at the end of Blackthorne Court in the Fletcher Hills district of El Cajon. There is parking available for up to 181 cars. More cars can park on neighboring side streets.

Harry Griffen Park is maintained as part of a joint powers authority, composed of the Helix Water District, Grossmont Union High School District, the County of San Diego, and the cities of El Cajon and La Mesa.

Be sure to put June 15 on the calendar for the first Sundays at Six concert, at 6 pm in the amphitheater. Picnics are encouraged.

Go to www.cityoflamesa.com for more information.

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