LV Life Editor
The La Verne Heritage Foundation Pumpkin Patch at Heritage Park, located at 5001 Vía De Mansion, offers pumpkins of all sizes with family photo ops too.
When guests are not walking through the pumpkin patch, guests can go for a tractor ride through the park’s historic orange groves, walk through the corn maze, or visit the petting zoo with goats. Or snack on candy apples, churros, or chili frito bowls.
Bonnie Brunel, treasurer of the La Verne Heritage Foundation, said it felt great to be back.
She said last year the city allowed them to open the pumpkin patch for only two weekends in October, compared to being open almost weekends of the month. And the park was open for visitors to pick out pumpkins and leave. No corn maze or tractor rides because of the pandemic and social distancing mandates.
“People were just excited to get out last year,” Brunel said. “They had to wear masks, but they still enjoyed it.”
Brunel, who has been involved with the Heritage Foundation since 1987, said she has loved seeing the foundation grow into what it is today, as well seeing more and more visitors come to enjoy the patch with their friends and family.
“I was so excited to be able to go out and take my daughter somewhere,” said Alexis Hanson, a La Verne resident who was at the patch on Saturday. “This is her first time at the pumpkin patch and our first fall activity. We didn’t get to do this last year, so it’s refreshing for us.”
Cory Hanson, a counselor at Ramona Middle School and La Verne resident, said that he was originally planning to stay home and watch the football game.
“When my wife asked me to go to the pumpkin patch, I knew I couldn’t miss my daughter’s first time here,” he said.
He said his whole family was planning to gather and have a pumpkin carving challenge later. The parents said that they were excited to see how the pictures of their two-year-old daughter, Saige, came out later that night.
The Hansons brought their niece with them, Brooklyn Alba, a 12-year-old student at Ramona Middle School.
Alba said that it felt great to be at the pumpkin patch with her family. Her school used to come to the patch together, but she said there was something special about coming with her family.
Brunel said they have gotten a slew of volunteers this year, compared to when it started out with just five or six in 1984.
The Heritage Park used to be an acre of orange groves scheduled for destruction, but the foundation saw the location as an opportunity and salvaged it.
“I love every minute of it and I love the history behind (the pumpkin patch), how the orange groves were saved and turned into this,” Brunel said.
For sisters Gabby Esqueda, a teacher at Western Christian High School, and April Beardsley, wedding designer, the pumpkin patch has been an annual family event for quite some time. Their dad drives the tractor and gives a tour throughout the orange groves, while their mom volunteers inside Bob’s Country Store, located in the barn, where guests can buy homemade jams, sauces, and other merchandise.
“People from surrounding cities come to the pumpkin patch every year,” Esqueda said. “They know that La Verne is one of the only cities that has a small, local pumpkin patch and that it’s never overwhelmingly crowded.”
Esqueda is a first-time mom and was excited to bring her five-month-old daughter to the patch for the first time.
“It’s very family friendly,” Beardsley said. “I loved bringing my daughter here for the first time this year. We got to take a lot of adorable pictures of her and she loved the tractor ride.”
The pumpkin patch will remain on weekends, Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., until Oct. 30. For more information, visit the official website or the Heritage Foundation’s Facebook.
Taylor Moore can be reached at email@example.com.