Clyde and Connie Childress had a favorite weekend drive. They would head south from their home in Laguna Beach. First, they would visit the San Diego Wild Animal Park to admire the amazing array of animals. But even more than the animals, they admired the beautifully landscaped grounds. From the Wild Animal Park, Clyde and Connie would drive to Julian for pie before returning home. Between trips, they would dream of moving to San Diego to build and landscape a park of their own.
As the 1990s drew to a close, the couple decided it was time to fulfill their dream. They purchased a parcel nestled in the foothills of Valley Center. "This was the perfect property," Clyde says. "It had perfect topography, good air, good soil drainage and was nearly frost-free."
Finding a frost-free spot was critical to Clyde's vision of his park, which included a tropical jungle.
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