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Help craft a vision for your parks and recreation system!

The City of San Diego has begun the third of its four-step process to update the Parks Master Plan (PMP)



1. Learning: Existing Conditions

  • Data Review
  • Demographics Analysis
  • Climate Action Plan Analysis
  • Recreation Programs and Services Assessment

2. Exploring: Needs and Priorities

  • Regional Workshops
  • Stakeholder Interviews
  • Online Activity
  • Statistical Survey
  • Benchmark Comparison
  • Service Standards Analysis
  • Recreation Program Evaluation
  • Trends Analysis

3. Envisioning: Long-Range Park Planning

  • Visioning Workshops
  • Vision Statement
  • Guiding Principles
  • Goals and Policies
  • Conceptual Parks System Vision Map

4. Implementing: Parks Master Plan

  • Implementation Workshop
  • Short-term, mid-term and long-term actions
  • Funding Strategies
  • Partnership Opportunities
  • Community Open Houses

Public Involvement So Far:

The Parks Master Plan has gathered input on the needs and priorities of residents in multiple ways:

  • Statistically valid survey
  • Online activity
  • Regional Workshops
  • Stakeholder interviews


Input shows common priorities for residents in the City of San Diego:

  • Neighborhood parks
  • Open space and trails
  • Off-leash dog parks
  • Fitness and wellness programs
  • Senior programs
  • Nature/outdoor programs
  • Maintenance of existing parks and facilities
  • Efforts to make parks more active and safer

What is Visioning?

Visioning helps us to think about what great parks and recreation programming might look like in 20 years. The input that you share with us will inform PMP recommendations and help guide the City’s park investments and program priorities in the years ahead. 
Let’s get started. Please share your thoughts on the following important topics that help make a great parks system.    


Access in the context of parks means that every resident regardless of age, ability, or place of residence should be able to get to a park space or recreation opportunity safely and conveniently. Access includes walking, using assistive devices, biking, taking transit, or driving.

A 10-minute walk, or one-half mile, is a goal for many urban park systems

A complete network offers safe, convenient, comfortable access to parks for all residents. Many types of links both within and between parks and open spaces can expand access to recreational opportunities.

Access improvements could include sidewalks, trails, bike lanes, or transit. What ideas do you have for improving access to parks and recreation in your community and in the City overall?
What other improvements, programs, or partnerships are needed to make it easier for people to access parks and recreation?

Arts and Culture

Arts and culture are important elements of a park system that inspires and engages its residents and expresses the unique identity of a city and its neighborhoods.

Parks and recreational facilities offer programming for performing and visual arts, create spaces for artists, host cultural events, and serve as sites for public art installations.


Arts Classes and Workshops Offered in 2018


Dance Classes Offered in 2018

Arts and culture improvements could include public art, educational/interpretive displays, dance or performing arts. What ideas do you have for bringing more arts and culture into your community and in the City overall?
What other improvements, programs, or partnerships are needed to bring more art and cultural opportunities into the parks and recreation system?

Environment/Natural Areas

Open space areas conserve and protect sensitive habitat and cultural history, while providing recreational and learning opportunities. San Diego offers both large regional parks and neighborhood open spaces.

Planting more trees in parks, appropriate open spaces, and along trails and streets make communities more comfortable and attractive. 


Acres of Open Space


Open Space Parks and Canyons


Miles of Trails

Environment and open space improvements could include preserving new open space areas, adding nature-based programming, planting more trees and vegetated areas, and designing parks as “green infrastructure.” What ideas do you have for improving the environment and open space in your community and in the City overall?
What other improvements, programs, or partnerships are needed to improve and protect environmental and open spaces within the parks and recreation system?

Parks & Programming

Recreation Trends

Busy lifestyles may not allow for typical, scheduled recreation. People are looking for more activities that they can choose to do at their own pace with a greater focus on health, wellness, and socialization, rather than competition.

Parks as Part of Communities

Parks are part of the fabric of our neighborhoods, making us healthier, safer, and better connected to one another. Nearby parks are also an important strategy for making urban neighborhoods and centers more comfortable, attractive, and livable.

Funding Constraints

Like large, urban systems across the U.S., the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department delivers a wide range of programs and services while maintaining existing facilities and constructing new parks to meet population growth. Continued deferred maintenance will increase the amount of reinvestment necessary to improve park and building conditions. Limited resources require cities to make choices about investments in future parks.

Many cities look for additional funding from:

  • Foundations
  • Special assessments
  • Voter-approved funding
  • Partnerships
  • Private concessions
  • Higher cost recovery from program fees
Parks and programming improvements could include new types and locations of park spaces and facilities and new program services. What ideas do you have for improving parks and programming in your community and in the City overall?
What other improvements, programs, or partnerships are needed to improve park spaces and services within the parks and recreation system?

What is Your Vision?

The PMP is San Diego’s opportunity to build a world-class park system for all San Diegans based on the following guiding principles.


Parks and recreational programs should meet the changing needs and wants of residents.



Every resident should be able to get to a park space or program safely, conveniently, and actively.



Parks should reflect the unique qualities of their settings and enhance the image of the City of San Diego and its diverse communities.



Park improvements, programs, and management strategies should contribute to community economic development, social well-being, and a healthy environment.



Every resident should be able to enjoy parks and recreational programs regardless of income, age, race, ability, or geographic location.


Let's make our parks... 


I want the city of San Diego parks to provide:
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I want to get to parks by:
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I think parks are special and unique when they:
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I want parks to be financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable by:
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I think parks can be used by people of all ages, races, abilities, incomes, and locations when:
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My vision for San Diego's park system 20 years from now is _____________________.
My vision for my neighborhood park 20 years from now is _____________________________.
Would you like to receive updates about the San Diego parks planning effort?
Where do you live?

Move the circle to the area that generally represents where you live or search for your location in the box below.