Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation Makes First Donation of Land to the City of San Diego



On July 2, 2024, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to accept a donation of land from the nonprofit Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) Foundation to add to and expand MTRP, one of the largest urban parks in the country. Both the City of San Diego and the MTRP Foundation are working to acquire privately-owned parcels that are within the park’s boundaries. These acquisition efforts support the park’s 2019 Master Plan Update and the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP), a regional initiative to preserve land essential to local plants and animals.

The Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation, founded in 1988, was awarded grants for land acquisition by the San Diego River Conservancy (SDRC), an independent and non-regulatory state agency. The land donated to the City by the MTRP Foundation is in the East Elliott Community Planning Area north of State Route 52 and west of Mast Boulevard. This first land donation from the MTRP Foundation to the City of San Diego comprises 55 acres; the remaining existing grant funding is anticipated to support the purchase of approximately 60 additional acres. “This land acquisition supports conservation, will allow for public access, and increase understanding of natural spaces to foster environmental stewardship,” explains Lane MacKenzie, president of the MTRP Foundation Board of Directors.

“The San Diego River Conservancy works with local cities, government agencies and nonprofits to advance initiatives to improve the San Diego River and its watershed,” shared SDRC’s Executive Officer Julia Richards. “Because of the good working relationship with the MTRP Foundation, the Conservancy has been able to ramp up efforts to help purchase land and initiate a multi-year invasive plant removal effort at the park,” Richards says.

San Diego City Councilmember Raul Campillo, whose district includes Mission Trails Regional Park, serves as Chair of the Mission Trails Regional Park Task Force and is on the San Diego River Conservancy Governing Board. Councilmember Campillo expressed his excitement about the recent milestone, stating, “Mission Trails Regional Park is a treasure of our community, providing incredible outdoor access, conservation opportunities, and programming for so many people. That’s why I’m so thrilled about today’s exciting milestone: the donation of 55 additional acres of Mission Trails Regional Park space to San Diego. Thank you to the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation for this generous land donation, which is part of our vision to significantly expand San Diego’s open spaces and safeguard vulnerable species.”

This first donation of land from the MTRP Foundation to the City of San Diego is the beginning of a process to fully complete the park, as reflected in the 2019 Master Plan Update. The Foundation will continue to seek funding for land acquisition and welcomes support from the community to continue working on this and other important initiatives. Make a donation here.