Mayor Faulconer, Councilmember Kersey Break Ground on Rolling Hills Park Improvement Project
Family’s Fundraising Efforts Help to Rejuvenate Beloved Community Park in Rancho Peñasquitos
Monday, August 27, 2018 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego – Continuing his commitment to improve neighborhood parks throughout the city, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer was joined Monday by City Councilmember Mark Kersey and the Palkovic family to break ground on significant improvements to the Rolling Hills Neighborhood Park in Rancho Peñasquitos – a cherished community asset that holds special meaning for the family and neighborhood residents.
“This is a remarkable, community-driven project that has brought so many people together to fulfill the vision the Palkovic family had for the future of this beloved neighborhood park,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Rolling Hills has meant so much to the Rancho Peñasquitos community through the years and these improvements are going to help it remain a special place for families, friends and neighbors to gather and make memories that will last a lifetime.”
Built in 1978, this will be the first time the park has received upgrades and enhancements since the installation of original playground equipment in 1986. Improvements include 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, drinking fountains, 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, which led a fundraising effort for the park upgrades.
“The groundbreaking of the Rolling Hills Neighborhood Park celebrates the great partnership between this community and the City,” said Councilmember Kersey, who represents Rancho Peñasquitos and contributed $21,000 in savings from his office budget to the project. “After five years of fundraising and planning, this park will be transformed into a tremendous new community asset.”
The groundbreaking ceremony celebrated an important milestone in the project 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 family also worked alongside City staff throughout the entire design and community input phases.
“The new playground equipment is being donated by the generous contributions of so many caring people. My family and I are certain that the revitalized park will serve the community as a beacon of joy and hope for all of our children for generations to come,” 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 more than a dozen other 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.