Parks, Open Space and the Environment
Protecting and Investing in Mission Bay and our Regional Parks
As past chair of the Mission Bay Park Committee, Kevin has always been dedicated to protecting San Diego's parks and environment. For decades, there was no guarantee that the money generated in Mission Bay from property leased from the City would be reinvested into back Mission Bay. The City's ability to maintain the park and protect the bay was subject to the whims of politicians. That changed after Kevin was elected. Kevin took a lead role in drafting and supporting Proposition C, which passed with 67 percent of the vote in 2008. The measure ensures money generated in Mission Bay Park is invested there and at other city parks. Since its approval in 2008, millions of dollars have been reinvested into the City's park system from this initiative.
Beginning July 1, 2014, Mission Bay Park will receive nearly $2.5 million from this initiative. In addition, another $2.5 million will be allocated for San Diego's regional parks, such as Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. That's on top of $2.4 million regional parks have received since fiscal year 2010.
With these park funds, the City will begin to restore navigable waters within Mission Bay. This dredging project will make the bay safer boats, watercraft and our families.
This is just the beginning. In coming years, the City will use Mission Bay Initiative revenue to expand Mission Bay's wetlands, improve water quality, expand endangered species habitats, improve bicycle and pedestrian paths and restore parts of the seawall. Kevin believes this is a prime example of what we can achieve when City Hall, businesses, and residents work in unison towards a common goal.
Creating More Park Space
Revitalizing the Waterfront
As Chair of the San Diego Joint Powers Authority, a collaboration between multiple local jurisdictions, Kevin worked tirelessly to revitalize downtown's waterfront and make the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan a reality. The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase I is part of a comprehensive project to beautify the waterfront and create new public open space that welcomes residents and tourists. The project also includes significant improvements to roadways, utilities and storm water systems.
When completed, a 105-foot wide esplanade will adorn the waterfront. The esplanade will have formal gardens, plazas, shade pavilions and a waterfront promenade that will allow downtown residents, workers and visitors to stroll, jog, cycle, enjoy public events or just relax.
Horton Plaza Park
Through Kevin's efforts, the City of San Diego was able to collaborate with Westfield retail to create a world-class park at Horton Plaza Mall. This Horton Plaza Park project is the result of a unique public-private partnership between the City of San Diego, Civic San Diego and Westfield that will create a new central gathering space downtown and restore the existing park and historic fountain, which has fallen into disrepair.
West Lewis Street Pocket Park in Mission Hills
Located at the corner of West Lewis and Falcon Street, this park will serve the Mission Hills community for generations to come. Through steadfast community involvement, a plot of land once overgrown with vegetation has been transformed into a beautiful neighborhood amenity. The final design of the park is one that highlights the unique charm of Mission Hills. Gently perched above Dove Canyon, this park offers a serene urban escape where pedestrians can enjoy the natural landscape of the canyon and appreciate the various avian inhabitants. The park features beautiful ipe wood benches, decorative boulders and concrete curbs etched with street names from the Mission Hills community. Kevin worked side-by-side with the Mission Hills Town Council and City planners to turn the vision for this park into reality.
- Media Advisory: Park Highlighting San Diego's Native Birds to Officially Open (PDF)
- Photo Gallery: Mission Hills Park Opening
Kevin worked tirelessly to open 46 acres of new parkland in Point Loma. Located at the former Navy Training Center in Point Loma, the park includes paths and trails for jogging, walking, and biking. It also includes 3 acres of lawn - designed for picnicking, flying a kite, or just enjoying the view. The park also includes 2 restrooms.
Protecting Sensitive Environmental Lands
Kevin led the effort to pass legislation in San Diego and supported action in Sacramento to protect more than 31 acres of Point Loma's Famosa Slough, a wetland near the San Diego river home to local birds and wildlife. After four years of partnering with community leaders and working through red tape, Kevin was successful at bringing State tidelands environmental protections to these local wetlands and native species to protect it from future development.