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San Diego moving forward on new parks near downtown, Carmel Valley

San Diego opened a new mini-park this week in the Stockton neighborhood just east of downtown and finalized plans for a neighborhood park in Pacific Highlands Ranch near Carmel Valley.

Island Avenue Mini Park in Stockton, which was built on the site of a vacant lot, will bring more recreational opportunities to a neighborhood in need of additional places for children to play, city officials said.

“Island Avenue Mini Park is another great example of the hard work of our City staff — turning an outdated space into a beautiful, multi-tiered park that overlooks Southeastern San Diego,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “I’m committed to keep providing families across San Diego with new places to play and explore within their communities.”

The $3.1 million park features new play and shade structures, swing sets, picnic tables, trash and recycling receptacles, security lighting, a drinking fountain, improved landscaping and irrigation. It also includes pathways to help people with disabilities get around easily.

“I have and will continue to advocate for park improvements and funding to improve parks in District 8,” said Councilmember Vivian Moreno. “Our neighborhoods need more green spaces like Island Avenue Mini Park where our children can play safely.”

Moreno said city investments are crucial in neighborhoods south of Interstate 8, where there are fewer parks and other amenities compared to city neighborhoods farther north. She said the park will help boost equity in San Diego’s parks system.

The park in Stockton is one of four created with the help of $6 million in federal money designated for low-income areas. The funds are called Community Development Block Grants.

Gamma Street and J Street mini parks have already been completed. Clay Avenue Mini Park is expected to open sometime next year.

The park in Pacific Highlands Ranch will be called McGonigle Canyon Neighborhood Park. It will be built for $3.1 million as part of city agreement with Tri Pointe Homes, which built the subdivisions near the new park.

San Diego maintains more than 40,000 acres of park assets, including more than 400 parks, 60 recreation centers, 14 pools, seven skate parks and three golf courses.

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