Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego – Continuing his commitment to improve neighborhood parks throughout the city, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, City Councilmember Mark Kersey and the Sienna’s PlayGarden Community Group reopened Rolling Hills Neighborhood Park in Rancho Peñasquitos following significant improvements, including new playgrounds for children.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration held a special meaning for many in the community, particularly the Palkovic family whose 16-month-old daughter, Sienna, loved playing in the park before she passed away in 2012. Sienna’s mother, Jennifer Palkovic, spearheaded Sienna's PlayGarden Community Project as its chair and raised more than $250,000 from local businesses, community members and the County of San Diego.
“The Palkovic family had a vision for the future of this beloved neighborhood park and this remarkable, community-driven project brought that vision to life,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Rolling Hills Park has been a special place for families, friends and neighbors of the Rancho Peñasquitos community to gather for decades and these improvements will make sure that continues for many years to come.”
Built in 1978, this is the first time the park has received upgrades and enhancements since the installation of original playground equipment in 1986. Improvements included replacing the current children’s playground with two new playgrounds – one for children ages five to 12 and the other for children ages five and under that includes a playhouse. Other new amenities include rubberized surfacing, accessible play equipment and pedestrian curb ramps to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, additional seating and tables, a shade structure, a trike track around the play areas, and erosion control measures for the existing slope to the north of the playground.
The roughly $2 million project is a partnership between the City of San Diego, Councilmember Kersey’s Office and the Sienna’s PlayGarden Community Group.
“The grand opening of the new Rolling Hills Neighborhood Park celebrates the great partnership between this community and the City,” said Councilmember Kersey, who represents Rancho Peñasquitos and contributed over $20,000 in savings from his office budget to the project. “After years of hard work, this park has been transformed into a tremendous new community asset.”
The Palkovic family worked alongside City staff throughout the entire design and community input phases.
“Our revitalized park is a symbol of love, joy and hope in our community and will be for generations to come. My family and I are forever grateful for the kind-hearted contributions by so many giving people. Because of their support, this dream has become a reality,” Jennifer Palkovic said.
The City of San Diego has made significant investments in its park system since Mayor Faulconer took office in 2014. Mayor Faulconer has an ongoing commitment for 50 new or improved parks across the city over five years, with 27 opened so far and more than two dozen park projects currently in various stages of design or construction.
That commitment also includes a collaborative effort between the City and the San Diego Unified School District to expand recreational opportunities with the “Play All Day” parks initiative to build over 45 new joint-use parks.