Encinitas City Council, city staff and dozens of residents gathered Monday afternoon to celebrate the groundbreaking of Encinitas Community Park—a day that for many, has been more than a decade in the making.
Though the project has hit plenty of bumps along the way, Encinitas Deputy Mayor Kristin Gaspar said the persistence had finally paid off.
“For a long time it seemed like there was a dark cloud over this park—but the clouds have finally cleared and today it’s nothing but sunshine,” she said. “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new park and in Encinitas we’re feeling good.”
The 44-acre park will be the city’s largest by far, featuring a 13,000-square-foot skate park, a more than 2-acre dog park, one soccer field, one softball field, two baseball fields and sprawling turf for unrestricted play. During her address to the audience, Encinitas City Councilwoman Teresa Barth pointed out that beyond its features, this park would serve as a gathering place for the entire community.
“This is not just a sports park, or a dog park or a skate park. It truly is a multi-generational community park with something for everyone,” she said.
Barth also thanked the Encinitas Lions Club for being the first community group to step up with a donation and applauded the other groups that are planning to help.
Encinitas City Councilman James Bond, who is stepping down after 20 years, said he could retire happy now that the park was underway.
“I had a number of things on my bucket list and this was the most important,” he told residents. “We love you all and hope you’ll enjoy this park.”
Construction will start next month and should be finished by the end of 2013.
The park will cost $19.3 million. Of that, $7.8 million will come from existing funds, $7 million will come from reallocated funds, and $4.5 million from gap financing—a plan that City Council
Some of the highlights for the new park, which sits west of Interstate-5 between Santa Fe Drive and Birmingham Drive, include:
- The 13,000-square-foot skate park, which features a skate bowl, urban plaza area with planters, ramps and platform areas (image of design attached)
- The more than 2-acre dog park, which features a large turf area and a special section for shy or small dogs (image of design attached)
- Five parking lots offering 418 spaces will be peppered throughout the park
- Two restroom facilities, several paved paths and a winding dry creek
For more information about Encinitas Community Park, visit the city’s website.