Sometimes people knock on Marlene Williams’ door and ask to use the bathroom.

Williams lives in Balboa Park with her husband and daughter — they’re among a handful of people sanctioned to live in the city’s urban park. Williams thinks of the park — and its 65 acres of trails — as her big backyard. She loves it, even if she has to deal with park-goers’ bathroom requests every once in a while.

She joined five other speakers in our “Meeting of the Minds” event last week to tell us more about the trails and the work she’s done with the Girl Scouts and Friends of Balboa Park to make the park better.

For more, read our story about a morning with Williams and her two dogs, Molson and Baron.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

I neglected to include Williams’ submission for our photo project in my roundup yesterday; we’d asked people to take a photograph wherever they were at 3 p.m. to see the park at a moment in time. Here’s Williams and her family sitting in front of their house on Saturday at 3:

We’ve posted more videos of our speakers from last week, thanks to our friends from the Media Arts Center San Diego. Maren Dougherty introduced us to 20 little-known people in the park, and Jose Ysea detailed the now-defunct landfill in one of the park’s canyons.

I’m Kelly Bennett, reporter for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531.

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    This article relates to: Arts/Culture, Balboa Park, Community, News, Parks

    Written by Kelly Bennett

    Kelly Bennett is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. You can reach her directly at