Community Engagement Builds a Better Park
Parks can be many things to many people, including a space for recreational activities, exercise, community gatherings or a quiet retreat into the natural world. A well-designed park meets the needs of the community it services, and helps to establish a unique sense of place.
Pardee Homes had this in mind when designing the 13.5-acre Pacific Highlands Ranch Community Park and Recreation Center. Located across the street from The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, and adjacent to Canyon Crest Academy and Pacific Trails Middle School, the park’s central location provides convenient access for residents throughout the community. To make this park a natural fit at Pacific Highlands Ranch, we set out to listen to residents’ ideas and desires, knowing their input would help us build the best possible park.
Working with the City of San Diego, a citizens’ committee of Pacific Highlands Ranch residents was created to spearhead the design of the park in a series of public meetings. While the committee was only required by the City to advertise its meetings within 300 feet of the park site, we supported a public outreach program so we could hear from as many residents as possible.
We used digital, print and personal communications to give residents the opportunity to provide feedback on the park design, and over the course of outreach efforts, we sent more than 6,400 individual notices, reaching an audience in excess of 17,000 people.
A central goal of the committee was to “meet the broadest possible recreational needs of the community.” The final park design is a fusion of traditional activities and new, modern amenities that reflect the forward-looking nature of the Pacific Highlands Ranch community.
A 17,000-square-foot recreation building will be perfect for basketball, volleyball, pickleball and badminton. Additionally, the recreation center will include an activity room for arts and crafts, a multi-purpose room that can accommodate dance, exercise and other classes, a courtyard and restrooms.
Several of the park’s unique amenities were special requests from the community, including a bike pump track, parkour area, children’s discovery garden and a large and small dog park. The pump track and parkour area (an urban obstacle course that engages users by way of jumping, climbing, or running) will be the first of their kind in the City of San Diego’s public park system.
The park design also includes a tree-lined promenade, which will provide direct connectivity to the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch.
The park was approved unanimously by the citizens’ committee, the local Recreation Council and the City’s Park & Recreation Board and thanks to resident engagement, the park truly is a reflection of the community it serves.
If you want to learn more about Pacific Highlands Ranch, be sure to reach out to a New Home Specialist here, or give them a call at 619-727-6105.
This rendering is an artist’s conception. Landscaping, trees and shrubs may be depicted as the artist conceives they will appear at maturity. Changes in the size, landscaping and facilities of the park may occur to satisfy City of San Diego requirements or for other reasons.