Revamped park opens in Southeast San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- A revamped Southcrest Trails Neighborhood Park opened Friday in Southeast San Diego on land originally cleared decades ago for a freeway.

The 2.6-acre park opened last year and largely offered open space for walking. Newly added amenities include a children's play areas, trails with exercise stations, gazebos, picnic areas with grills and game tables, a basketball court, a skate park and an amphitheater.

The $3 million park was built on land in Southeast San Diego originally cleared for State Route 252. The freeway project was abandoned in the 1970s following community protests.

The property was the last undeveloped part of 66 acres cleared away to build the freeway. The majority of the space has since been filled in by homes, commercial development and a school.

The park is located at Beta and Birch streets, east of Interstate 15 and north of Interstate 5, and was built by the nonprofit Civic San Diego with a state Urban Greening Grant and bond funds.

"This park will provide residents a beautiful and safe place to enjoy with their families and neighbors," said Reese A. Jarrett, president of CivicSD. "This really gets to heart of our mission to improve the quality of life in San Diego's most underserved communities."

Landscaping utilized drought-tolerant plants. The city's Commission for Arts and Culture helped place public art throughout the park, according to CivicSD.