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COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO TO IDENTIFY A SUSTAINABLE FUNDING STRATEGY FOR SAN DIEGO RIVER PARK

11/03/21

 

Today, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 0, with Vice-Chair Vargas being absent during the vote, in favor of a Department of Parks and Recreation proposal to spend up to $500,000 to work with a consultant to identify options for securing funds for acquiring land, implementing trails, and completing the San Diego River Park, which stretches 52 miles from the Cuyamaca Mountains in Julian to the Pacific Ocean.  

Chair Nathan Fletcher first highlighted the need for the County of San Diego to become more involved in the completion of the San Diego River Park during his February State of the County Address. Chair Fletcher then convened a task force in March and April of 2021, of which the Department of Parks and Recreation is a member, and the task force identified a need for a steady funding source to preserve the land, and expand its usage by residents of San Diego County. 

Chair Fletcher is excited that the Board supported this proposal and issued the following statement:

“San Diegans love the outdoors and today’s action is an important step in providing more park and play space to San Diego families by expanding community access to the San Diego River Park trail system,” said Chair Fletcher. “There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but I am very pleased that in less than a year we have been able to make substantial progress on moving closer to achieving the vision for the San Diego River Park.”

Earlier this year, Chair Fletcher in partnership with Supervisor Joel Anderson, who serves on the Governing Board of the San Diego River Conservancy, secured $6 million to restore in perpetuity the ‘Kumeyaay Valley County Park,’ in the  El Monte River Valley along the San Diego River, which will provide an opportunity for future trail connections between existing County park facilities and the San Diego River Park Regional Trail and Flume Trails to the east. It was named in acknowledgment of the Kumeyaay land upon which it’s located. 

The task force members who convened earlier this year were: 

  • Nathan Fletcher, Chair, County Board of Supervisors

  • Raul Campillo, Councilmember for District 7, City of San Diego

  • Randy Wilde, Policy Advisor for Mayor Todd Gloria, City of San Diego

  • Johnny Eagle, Kumeyaay Diegueño Land Conservancy

  • Lisa Haws, Kumeyaay Diegueño Land Conservancy

  • Rob Hutsel, San Diego River Park Foundation

  • Julia Richards, San Diego River Conservancy

  • Aimee Cox, Regional Task Force on the Homeless

  • Brian Albright, Director, San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation

This policy aligns with Chair Fletcher’s Framework for the Future of San Diego County. The Framework prioritizes communities and populations in San Diego that have been historically left behind. Through this Framework, Chair Fletcher is fighting for racial justice, health equity, economic opportunity, environmental protection, government transparency, and fundamental changes to county operations.