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Public Works

Community Celebrates Reopening of the Children's Park in Downtown

Mayor, Councilmember, community leaders, and City staff cutting ribbon.

This morning, Mayor Todd Gloria and Councilmember Stephen Whitburn, along with community leaders and City staff, cut the ribbon to officially reopen Children’s Park in Downtown. The improvements to the park, which originally opened in the mid-1990s, have been in the works for several years by Downtown and City leaders. 

 “With the redevelopment and reopening of Children’s Park, we have transformed a previously underused space into a truly vibrant place for the community,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “Downtown residents and visitors now have an extraordinary park to gather, relax, picnic, play and exercise – part of our greater vision to make San Diego a city that works for all of us.” 

The $9 million project, a collaboration with Civic Communities, will help transform Downtown San Diego into a world-class urban center and aligns with the goals of the Downtown Community Plan, which encourages the development of a diverse range of outdoor opportunities for residents, workers and visitors. 

The park’s makeover includes a new children’s play area, picnic tables, adult exercise equipment, an off-leash dog area, public restrooms with an attendant booth, a multi-use lawn area, a new walkway through the Civic Pond and a vendor building. 

“This park, in the heart of Downtown, is a testament to what we can achieve when we come together as a community to improve the quality of life for all residents,” said Councilmember Stephen Whitburn, who represents Downtown. “This moment marks a significant milestone in our city's journey toward creating vibrant, inclusive spaces for families and children.” 

San Diego-based artist Miki Iwasaki created a site-specific public art piece for the park. The artwork, titled Petrichor, was commissioned by the City of San Diego through Arts and Culture. Petrichor is a sculptural installation consisting of an abstract form that appears to float above the ground in a cloud-like shape and will serve as a beacon in the park. 

The project was made possible through the support of Civic Communities in its effort to build a more dynamic Downtown. 

“It is wonderful to have a park that provides a dedicated space for children to play in Downtown,” said Stephen Russell, Chair of Civic Communities. “We believe it will be a cherished space that not only enriches the lives of the community but also exemplifies our commitment to a vibrant, sustainable, and resilient future for Downtown.” 

The Downtown San Diego Partnership, which works to ensure the prosperity and cultural vitality of Downtown San Diego, also praised the redeveloped park. 

“The reopening of the reimagined Children’s Park with its dog-friendly and family-friendly amenities and welcoming spaces is another step towards making Downtown San Diego America’s Outdoor Downtown,” said Betsy Brennan, President and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. “As an organization focused on the economic prosperity and cultural vitality of our Downtown neighborhoods, we are consistently advocating for the role that thoughtfully planned parks and beautiful public spaces can play in ensuring Downtown is thriving and inviting for our local families, workforce, and visitors. Today’s festivities reflect that truth, and we can’t wait for our Downtown community to enjoy this new space.” 

The City’s Parks and Recreation Department manages more than 40,000 acres of park assets, including more than 400 parks, 26 miles of shoreline, 60 recreation centers, 14 pools, seven skate parks and three golf courses. For additional information regarding the City’s park system, visit