$2.6M facility brings much-needed family-friendly park space to former site of vacant lot
SAN DIEGO — In a continuing effort to provide more high-quality recreational spaces to San Diegans in high-density neighborhoods, Mayor Todd Gloria and Council President Pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe on Tuesday, August 23 joined city staff and community members to officially open La Paz Mini Park in Valencia Park.
The new mini park transforms an underutilized corner lot into an inviting neighborhood gathering space for residents both young and old and helps address the need for more recreational opportunities for residents in Valencia Park. As part of Tuesday’s ceremony, local kids attending City of San Diego summer camps were invited to play on the new equipment for the first time.
“The La Paz Mini Park has been years in the making and my administration has been focused on getting it done for Valencia Park,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “What was once just a chunk of dirt and weeds has been transformed into a quality public space for the community to enjoy complete with a children’s play area, fitness stations, a shade structure and more. Every neighborhood deserves safe places to get outside, be active and gather with their loved ones and community. Investments in projects like this one in Valencia Park will help make that a reality for each and every San Diegan.”
The $2.6 million facility maximizes the half-acre of park space with a variety of neighborhood amenities including two children’s play areas for younger children and preschoolers, adult fitness equipment, a shade structure, seating areas, multi-purpose turf areas, improved landscaping and irrigation, security lighting and ADA compliant pathways to facilitate access for all users.
“The new La Paz Mini Park is a true win for our community. It reflects residents’ priorities and increases District Four’s recreational opportunities,” said Council President Pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe. “At the intersection of public safety and livable neighborhoods, this beautiful project promotes community wellness and improves safety and livability through environmental design for all residents.”
Park design work began in 2017 and city staff worked closely with community members to determine what park elements should be included in the project. Construction began in May 2021 with a groundbreaking event led by Mayor Gloria, then Councilmember Montgomery Steppe and members of the community.
The City of San Diego 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 sandiego.gov/parks-and-recreation.
(City of San Diego Release)