Civita Park’s Grand Opening Festivities Set for April 29

Concert, Activities and Entertainment will be announced soon

The construction team at Civita Park is in high gear preparing for the grand opening of Civita Park, Saturday, April 29. The park will officially open at 11 a.m. with a military color guard, presentations by civic officials, and a ribbon cutting. Following the ceremony, a variety of special events, including a concert, garden talks, activities and dining options, are being planned. Details will be posted at

Civita Park, the centerpiece of Civita’s extensive parks and open space system, is a huge construction site where concrete is being poured, lighting is being installed and plants and trees are being tended. The dramatic roof structure over the amphitheater is being set in place this week by a huge crane. The water feature, featuring 48 water jets, is nearing completion.

A classic 1956 Porsche tractor sits outside the entrance of the community park, awaiting completion of a magnificent mosaic that will surround the entry gates.

Next month, a colony of bronze rabbits will take up residence in Civita Park, as part of a site-specific art installation by acclaimed local sculptors T.J. Dixon and James Nelson. See if you can locate all 27 bunnies scattered throughout the park!

Other sections of the park are ready for the festivities: The multi-use field has been sodded. The basketball courts are complete. The outdoor living rooms, which feature picnic tables or sofas and chairs, have been planted with wisteria that will eventually shade these intimate spaces.

While plans for the festivities are being finalized, please mark your calendar for Saturday, April 29, beginning at 11 a.m. In addition to celebrating the grand opening of the park, this event will also mark Arbor Day, Civita’s traditional spring festival.

Sculptors T.J. Dixon and James Nelson Create Loveable Artwork for Civita Park

Acclaimed sculptors T.J. Dixon and James Nelson have created a bronze rabbit family that will inhabit Civita Park. The site-specific art project tells the story of two little bunnies named Franklin and Alta and their search for the magical Civita stone “that leads them home.”

The bronze storybook will be located near Celebration Plaza. The lifelike bunnies, reminiscent of the desert hares that once roamed Mission Valley, will be found along Civita Creek. This bunny trail will culminate at the Civita stone, marking the rabbits’ long lost home. The husband-and-wife sculpture team is also creating whimsical animal sculptures that will lounge on sofas near the amphitheater.

T.J. Dixon and James Nelson specialize in large scale, public sculpture and design work. Their projects include public and private work on gardens, plazas, buildings, fountains and memorials, including work at California State University, San Marcos, University of California, San Diego, Scripps Memorial Hospital, and Clemson University. Since 1991 they have been working together as public artists for clients including cities, universities and hospitals. Their projects often include collaborative design with landscape architects, architects and other design professionals.

Many of their award-winning projects have not only achieved public acclaim, but have added a unique, distinctive sense of place to many institutions and communities. View their work at