September 23, 2022
The Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received a $2M grant from the San Diego River Conservancy (SDRC) to acquire land currently in private ownership that will be added to Mission Trails Regional Park. The Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation—the nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and improving Mission Trails—will receive this directed grant from the San Diego River Conservancy, an independent, non-regulatory state agency established to preserve, restore, and enhance the San Diego River Area.
The land to be purchased is in the East Elliott Community Planning Area, north of State Route 52. Following the acquisition, the MTRP Foundation will donate the land to the City of San Diego. In July 2022, the City of San Diego purchased 25 acres to add to the park. Already one of the largest urban parks in the United States, the two acquisition efforts will total more than 100 new acres. Both acquisitions support the park’s 2019 Master Plan Update and the City of San Diego’s Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP), a regional effort to preserve land essential to local plants and animals.
Remarking on the San Diego River Conservancy’s decision, MTRP Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Morrissey shared, “We’re deeply grateful to the San Diego River Conservancy for providing funding that will allow us to not only help the City of San Diego expand the park but also protect sensitive habitat. It is our hope that this acquisition will help increase public understanding of natural spaces and foster environmental stewardship. We at the MTRP Foundation appreciate the community members and organizations that support the Foundation so that we can do this important work.”
Julia Richards, Executive Officer of the San Diego River Conservancy shared, “The Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation’s land acquisition supports the State of California’s and the Natural Resources Agency’s path to conserving 30% of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030. This proposed land acquisition provides multiple benefits, which include habitat conservation, and protection of wildlife corridors and the San Diego River watershed.”
The acquisition process funded through the San Diego River Conservancy grant is expected to take up to two years. During this time, the MTRP Foundation will work to secure additional funding to support other land acquisition opportunities in the East Elliott Community Planning Area. There are approximately 600 additional acres in private ownership that could be purchased to include to Mission Trails Regional Park.
Donations to the nonprofit MTRP Foundation can help support future acquisition efforts. Make a donation here. https://mtrp.org/donate/
Photos: Mark Foreman