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Downtown Children's Park Improvement Project Getting Underway

Mayor Todd Gloria and other city leaders break ground at Children's Park in downtown San Diego's Marina neighborhood, May 5, 2021.
Office of the Mayor of San Diego
Mayor Todd Gloria and other city leaders break ground at Children's Park in downtown San Diego's Marina neighborhood, May 5, 2021.

Mayor Todd Gloria and Council President Pro Tem Stephen Whitburn were on hand Wednesday to kick off a major project to improve Children's Park in downtown San Diego's Marina neighborhood.

"A city can't truly be great without vibrant public spaces," Gloria said. "With the redevelopment of Children's Park, we're transforming this space into a place where residents and visitors can gather, relax, picnic, play, exercise and enjoy a beautiful part of our downtown area. This is how we create a city that works for all of us."

The $9 million project is intended to revitalize the 1.4-acre urban park, including the Civic Pond built in 1995. Construction will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2022. The project is being funded by fees developers pay to promote civic benefits.


"This renovation of Children's Park is desperately needed," said Whitburn, who represents downtown as part of Council District 3. "These improvements will revitalize one of our prized downtown open spaces, in line with the community plan."

New trees will be planted and sidewalks will be improved to "be more consistent" with the Downtown Streetscape Manual. The project also includes the additions of a children's play area, a walkway through the Civic Pond, a vendor building, adult exercise equipment, a picnic area, an off-leash dog run and a lawn area with access to a public restroom staffed by an attendant.

An art piece highlighting the urban-forest theme has been created for the project by artist Miki Iwasaki.

"We are excited to be a part of this park improvement project in the Marina neighborhood," said Maddy Kilkenny, chair of Civic San Diego. "The new and improved Children's Park will provide residents, workers and visitors of all ages with access to an incredible park that represents the best of San Diego."

The project is intended to align with the goal of the Downtown Community Plan, which encourages development of a diverse range of outdoor opportunities for residents, workers and visitors.


"It's hard to overstate the significance and impact of green spaces to the economic prosperity and cultural vitality of our downtown," said Betsy Brennan, president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. "We're happy to continue lending the expertise of our DSDP Clean & Safe maintenance and safety ambassadors to make sure the future park's water feature and its surrounding public spaces shine."