If you could pick one word to describe Jackie Heyneman it might be tireless. For nearly 50 years, Jackie has volunteered her time and talents to make Fallbrook a better place, and more beautiful, too. Even if you haven’t met her, you have probably seen her name on the sign at the park on Beech St. and S. Mission Avenue. It was renamed Jackie Heyneman Park in perpetuity by San Diego County Board of Supervisors following a recommendation by the Fallbrook Village Association in honor of her volunteer work for the community.
Jackie and her late husband Russell moved to Fallbrook in 1971 when Russell retired from the Navy. “We both threw ourselves into working with the community,” she said. Their girls were 7 and 9 years old, so those first years were all about Scouting, PTA and National Charity through high school. Both were very much involved with the Fallbrook Players and the Mission Theater.
Over the years Jackie has helped the young, the old, the sick, the hungry and our business community by volunteering with organizations too numerous to list. More recently, Jackie brought Scarecrow Days to town each October, making it even more fun to shop and visit local businesses. She has and continues to work with the County on solutions for the homeless population in our town. Of all her projects, which is the closest to her heart? “It’s the trees,” she said. Since her earliest days in Fallbrook, Jackie Heyneman has had a fondness for trees. In 1972, she worked with neighbors to save 20 oaks that were about to be cut down on Live Oak Road. The group became Save the Oaks and again prevented the removal of the trees that were threatened 20 years later. She was a founder of the Save Our Forest Committee within the Fallbrook Land Conservancy and helped start the Treescape Project to plant trees in town. In 1993 their first planting was 165 oak trees on Live Oak Park and Reche Roads, and at Live Oak Park. Since then thousands of trees and native plants have been planted in the greater Fallbrook area and in the Fallbrook Land Conservancy’s Preserves. She has written several grant applications that brought about $250,000 to plant trees for community enhancement through Urban Forestry funding . The beautiful trees will be her living legacy far into the future. What drives her to work so diligently for this deserving cause? “I do it for me,” she said. “I want to see the community look good. The bonus is a more healthful environment and pedestrian friendly shopping”