Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association
OUR volunteers have been providing quality recreation experiences and educating the visitors to the
laguna mountain recreation area
in the Descanso District of the Cleveland National Forest
LAGUNA MOUNTAIN HISTORY
The village of Mt. Laguna was once the home of more than 3,000 people. Most of them worked for the Air Force at the base atop Stephenson Peak. The children were educated at the elementary school on Sunrise Highway. When the base closed, there were only about 300 citizens remaining. The school had only a few students. After a few years, the local school district determined that it was less costly to bus the students down the hill to Pine Valley than to maintain the school. The school closed and remained vacant for several years.
The Forest Service wanted to purchase the building for use as a volunteer headquarters but lacked the funding. The Trust for Public Lands stepped up, purchased the building, and dedicated it to the Forest Service. In 1995 the Forest Service approached LMVA about renovating the site, promising that LMVA would have primary occupancy through a Memorandum of Understanding. They even held a contest to name the facility. It was dubbed the Red-Tailed Roost, after the Red-Tailed Hawk.
LMVA responded with enthusiasm. Are first headquarters was a small building across the road from the Red Tail Roost, We loved it, and had years of fun there. We provided $100,000 in funding to pay for the removal of asbestos and to re-roof the building. Volunteers pitched in and helped remodel the interior, right down to the kitchen and main room floors. The Forest Service allowed us to remove the stained and warped wood from the lanes in the bowling alley on the Air Force Base, which was going to be demolished anyway. We enlisted the help of an inmate crew from Barratt Honor Camp to install and re-finish the floors, who charged us the whopping sum of 9 pizzas and all the soda they could drink.
Our Volunteer Activity Center consists of a large meeting room, separate berthing facilities with about 20 beds, a fully equipped kitchen, and male and female bathrooms. With full showers. There are three RV hook-ups in the parking lot outside (a nominal fee is charged for electricity on the honor system). LMVA members volunteering that day or the following day are welcome to use the center free of charge. It is requested that you leave it cleaner than you found it, and replace any consumables.