Everybody Loves Parks.
The first phase of Civita Park is now open.
The 14.3-acre, multi-level park, which cascades down the center of the former quarry site, is located on Civita Boulevard at Russell Parkway. The new park is the centerpiece of Civita’s network of parks, open space and trails that encompasses nearly one-third of the community.
Highlights of the park include:
– An outdoor amphitheater with a stage shaded by a dramatic roof structure;
– A lighted, recirculating, interactive water feature with 48 jets;
– A large plaza, dubbed Celebration Plaza, designed and engineered for farmers’ markets, car shows, and large special events;
– Picnic tables and “outdoor living rooms” shaded by dramatic wisteria-covered trellises and game area;
– A community garden with 38 plots, including some ADA-compliant raised plots. The entrance to the garden features a mosaic by La Jolla artist Jane Wheeler and a restored 1956 red Porsche tractor;
– A dog park with separate enclosures for large and small dogs and exercise stations;
– Multi-purpose fields for open play, two half basketball courts, five exercise stations and extensive trails and walkways;
– A military tribute to the five branches of the military and San Diego’s military history;
– A site-specific sculpture project by Encinitas sculptors T.J. Dixon and James Nelson that includes numerous rabbits and other animals lounging around the park; and
– Civita Falls, a waterfall that will be fed by runoff from Civita and parts of Serra Mesa, during rainstorms. Civita Falls was designed by the late Hugh Hughes of Outside the Lines (OTL).
The next phases of the park, scheduled to open in 2018, will include two playgrounds with shade structures, more fields, a bocce court, the “Mining Relic Terrace” with historic mining equipment and a Caterpillar D8 bulldozer, and three gardens.
If completed as planned, Civita will feature approximately 60 acres of open space, cultivated landscape and public parks. This was actually a continuation of public workshops, input and planning started more than a decade ago using the approved Specific Plan as a guideline. The Civita Park is planned to be one of the largest public parks in metropolitan San Diego to be built in decades.
Creekside Park is 1.5 acres and anchored by a curvilinear elevated walkway that connects the various elements within the park. A cobble swale runs the length of the park and weaves under the elevated walkway. Numerous seating opportunities have been provided along the elevated walkway. A picnic area is connected to the children’s play area on the northern portion of the park. A dog run and small turf area have been provided just south of the utility easement and pedestrian pathway that bisects the park site. The southern portion of the park is anchored by a bridge/dam structure which references the historic Mission Dam. The park’s plant palette consists of a combination of low water use and native vegetation and the park will be lit by a series of decorative light fixtures.
Franklin Ridge Park
Franklin Ridge Park is a .20 acre park site proposed along Franklin Road. The triangular park provides passive use activities and spectacular views of Mission Valley from its picnic and turf spaces. A large interpretive wall anchors the picnic area and tells the story of the site’s mining and geologic history. The plant palette includes both low water use and native plant species. Decorative security lighting will be provided in the park’s primary gathering space.
Things you might like to know:
- Who is in charge of the park planning process?
- The parks are being planned by Sudberry Properties, under its partnership as Quarry Falls LLC, under the jurisdiction of the City of San Diego Public Works Department, Engineering and Capital Projects, Architectural Engineering and Park Division, with input and approval from the Mission Valley Planning Group and the Serra Mesa Recreation Council. Schmidt Design Group Inc. of San Diego, a company that specializes in the sustainable design of public places and parks, has been retained to design the parks based on the shared vision of the city, the public and the community planning groups.
- What facilities are planned for the central park?
- Individual facilities considered during the park planning process called for a variety of settings and amenities, both active and passive. Sports and recreation facilities mentioned in the Specific Plan included basketball half-courts, a fitness course, trails, and playgrounds. Pastoral areas included picnic areas with tables and barbecues, and sitting areas located at viewpoints. The west side of the central park features a creek bed designed to provide water quality benefits to all of Civita. The east edge of the park is designed with a formal, tree-lined promenade. The central park includes plans for a Civic Center component with a planned Heritage Museum, and event space.
- Will there be a leash-free dog park?
- Due to considerable public support for an enclosed area for dogs, the dog park is located at the top of Via Alta and has designated areas for large and small dogs.
- Who is developing the parks?
- Sudberry Properties under its partnership as Quarry Falls LLC will be responsible for the construction of the parks. The City of San Diego will oversee the construction process.
- When will the parks be open?
- Phase 1 of Civita Park was completed in April, 2017. Construction of Phase 2 is expected to begin in 2017, with completion expected sometime in 2018.
- What are the plans for parking and access?
- Plans call for street parking surrounding the park and parking lots located adjacent to the civic center. A planned pedestrian bridge over Friars Road will provide easy access to the San Diego Trolley’s Green Line stop at Rio Vista.
Civita is being developed by Quarry Falls LLC, under the leadership of Sudberry Properties. All plans related to the parks and open space were approved as part the Civita’s Specific Plan, by the San Diego City Council on Oct. 21, 2008. There are no guarantees the parks will be built or completed or that the facilities and amenities described above will be included in the parks.