Torrey Meadows Neighborhood Park opens

Located off of Torrey Meadows Drive, the long anticipated Torrey Meadows Park finally opened its gates to the public, Nov. 27. Originally scheduled to open last summer, the park’s construction faced several months of delays last winter due to heavy rains and other weather conditions unsuitable for construction.

According to Angel Castro, the City of San Diego Parks Department area manager in charge of maintenance efforts on the park, the 5.3 acre park consists of two gazebos available to rent, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant restroom facilities, a half basketball court, several picnic tables and benches, three barbecues, two playgrounds (one with sand and one with ADA compliant rubberized surfacing) and a decomposed granite path spanning the perimeter of a large grass area.

“[The Torrey Highlands community] doesn’t have enough green space in my opinion, so I would say the park will have a positive impact for recreation, for parties, and for leisurely sitting and reading in the mornings,” Castro said.

In the initial planning stages of capital improvement projects such as the Torrey Meadows Park, Castro said that the City of San Diego typically contracts a designer, consultants and construction employees, who in turn collaborate with a recreation council—namely the Penasquitos Recreation Council—in order to best satisfy the needs of that particular community.

“After receiving input from the community, they go back to the drawing board and develop what we call a general development plan,” Castro said. “Then they come back to the recreation council with other city people present and approve it.”

Upon receiving approval from the city, the construction and maintenance of the park itself began in August 2016.

“We conducted weekly construction meetings and decided on the plants, the walking paths, the restrooms and all the amenities,” Castro said. “We checked everything to make sure it works from the maintenance side of  things for the public.”

Since opening to the Torrey Highlands community several weeks ago, the park already hosted several significant events such as a grand opening ceremony, Dec. 2, followed by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dec. 7, featuring Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilmember Mark Kersey.

Furthermore, although he wasn’t directly involved in the planning and construction of the park, local real estate agent Bern McGovern said he plans to orchestrate several events for the Torrey Highlands community at the park.

“The park has been planned for quite some time as Torrey Highlands didn’t actually have any public parks until now, so the park has really filled a big need in the area.” McGovern said. “I like to organize neighborhood events and I see this park as a great place to do a movie night or a 4th of July celebration.”