First workshop held for San Diegans to weigh in on new parks master plan

SAN DIEGO -- The city of San Diego is holding a series of public workshops while aiming to update its park system for the first time in more than 50 years.

The first workshop was held at Balboa Park Tuesday evening. There, local residents were able to voice their suggestions straight to city leaders.

"We have been trying for years to get a soccer field in the Balboa Park area there is no dedicated soccer field for the kids," said Chris Varone, a local soccer coach.

There are more than 400 public parks to enjoy in San Diego, but even with so many options, people say some parks are still lacking.

"We don’t understand why one of the most popular sports in all the world is not represented," said Varone.

Others like Karen Anderson want more for their four-legged friends.

"There is an enormous need for space for dogs to run off leash and these little small dog parks don’t meet that," she said.

The workshop was filled with a variety of stations listing ideas for improvement and space for people to note whether they agree or disagree.

Some of the categories included park accessibility, amenities, safety and maintenance.

The workshops are part of a three-year effort launched last May to update the master plan for San Diego’s parks.

"I was pleased that there really close to the beginning as opposed at the end. Sometimes we don’t hear about things until it sounds like it’s too late," said John Terell, another local resident.

The next meeting will be held Saturday, April 27 at the San Ysidro Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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