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Landmark ‘Parks for All of Us’ Master Plan Receives City Council Approval



Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021



SAN DIEGO – Today, the San Diego City Council approved a citywide Parks Master Plan that will replace a previous park planning document crafted more than 65 years ago. The updated plan, which serves as a major component of Mayor Todd Gloria’s Parks for All of Us initiative, comes after years of input from residents and stakeholders and is designed to make the City’s park system more modernized, equitable and accessible for all San Diegans.

“I’m committed to ensuring that all San Diegans have access to high-quality parks,” Mayor Gloria said. “The Parks Master Plan update will help prioritize park investments where they’re needed most – in park-deficient and historically underserved communities – and ensure that these parks can be safely accessed and enjoyed by all.”

The updated Parks Master Plan makes a firm commitment to equity by prioritizing funding for park-deficient and historically underserved communities, where park needs are greatest.  As part of the plan adoption, the Chollas Creek Watershed was also officially designated as a Regional Park.

“This update to our Parks Master Plan is long overdue – it has not been updated since 1956,” said Councilmember Raul Campillo, representative for the 7 District. “This new Parks Master Plan is a great step forward for our City and I look forward to seeing its successful implementation. This new Plan will focus heavily on equity and prioritize park-deficient communities while conserving historic open space and providing increased programming.”

The master plan provides additional recreational opportunities for the public by delivering parks of all types, sizes and features, while emphasizing locations where park space is needed most and serves the greatest amount of people. The plan also recognizes the importance of safe and enjoyable access by incorporating biking, walking or rolling and transit options to easily visit local parks.

"Every family in every San Diego neighborhood deserves world-class parks and recreational opportunities,” said Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera, representative for the 9th District. “From designating the Chollas Creek watershed a regional park to ensuring long ignored communities receive their fair share of investment, this new and improved Parks Master Plan is an important milestone in creating a fairer, greener and healthier San Diego."

The plan also includes a specific goal of obtaining 100 new acres designated for park space within 10 years of the plan’s adoption, and identifies strategies needed to ensure the plan is successfully executed. These strategies include the creation of a citywide trails master plan, development of a comprehensive park condition index, and an equitable engagement framework to give community members and stakeholders the opportunity to be more involved in the planning process.

“As our City continues to grow and expand, we are proud to have a plan that will give everyone, regardless of their background, identity, ability and location, access to high-quality parks,” said the City’s Planning Director Mike Hansen. “The last Parks Master Plan was created when San Diego’s population was less than half of what it is today and so this was long overdue.” 

To develop the Parks Master Plan draft, staff collected input through more than 20 public hearings, more than a dozen workshops, surveys, pop-up events and stakeholder interviews.

“Parks serve as powerful conveners and social gathering places that strengthen connections between people and communities,” said Katherine Johnston, Executive Director of the San Diego Parks Foundation. “However, years of underinvestment and neglect have created stark differences in the quantity and quality of local parks and recreation centers. The San Diego Parks Foundation is proud to support this important step forward to address these systemic inequities.”

The current Parks Master Plan was created in 1956. At that time, the City-owned 5,700 acres of parkland and 13 recreation centers across 38 communities. Today, the City owns and maintains more than 42,000 acres of park assets across 54 communities. This includes 58 recreation centers, 13 aquatic complexes, three municipal golf courses, four visitor and nature centers, 10 skate parks and 17 off-leash dog areas.

To view the plan, visit the Parks for All of Us webpage.