Proposed Improvements for Veterans Park and Saratoga Park in Ocean Beach

by on April 27, 2021 · 11 comments

in Ocean Beach

Editordude: the Ocean Beach Planning Board Parks Subcommittee has come with proposed improvements and recommendations for OB’s 7 parks: Veterans, Saratoga, Ebers Street, Collier, Dog Beach / Spray Street, Robb Field and Dusty Rhodes. The OB Rag will publish their recommendations and accompanying graphics and maps. Today, we begin with an introduction and the changes suggested for Veterans and Saratoga. We will post their proposals for the remaining parks in the upcoming days. (Due to multiple reproductions of these recommendations, the text and lists may be difficult to read, so go to the original here. )


The purview of the Ocean Beach Planning Board Parks Subcommittee is to review the accessible park space in the Ocean Beach area for the quality and usefulness of existing amenities and suggest upgrades focused on equity, safety, climate action goals, art, and promoting healthy and active lifestyles in accordance with the City of San Diego’s Parks Master Plan.

Our vision is to bring the many benefits of great parks and recreational opportunities to all residents and visitors by planning comfortable, active, safe spaces for social connections that feature quality amenities for diverse interests, ages, and abilities.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board’s Parks Subcommittee was formed in May of 2020 to review the current status of neighborhood parks within the Ocean Beach Planning Zone and make suggestions on ways to enhance the usability, accessibility, and amenities within said parks. By meeting with community members and stakeholders to gather their insight on our local parks, we have compiled a list of requested improvements to present to the City of San Diego’s Parks & Recreation Department. Parks reviewed include:

Veterans Park

The planned Veterans Plaza in Veterans Park will enhance accessibility to natural spaces while incorporating placemaking elements to foster community building and remembrance of our US military veterans.

Proposed Improvements

Currently under design as a project of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation (OBCDC), the proposed Veterans Park Improvements include the implementation of a walkway to increase access to the beach from Abbott Street, as well as providing placemaking elements and interactive elements to honor US military veterans.

An integrated wayfinding system will increase connectivity to nearby transit and trail systems, thereby supporting equity and access to natural spaces.

Schmidt Design Group has donated their time and talent to the community in providing the initial designs, and a fundraising effort is underway to support the construction of this beautiful seaside plaza and monument to our Armed Forces.

A steering committee led by the OBCDC and comprised of members of the OB Town Council, OB MainStreet Association, and OB Planning Board has been appointed to the project.

Saratoga Park

A beautiful oceanfront park, Saratoga Park is in the midst of a revitalization effort that will increase fitness and activity options for adults and children of all abilities.

Proposed Improvements

Another current project of the OBCDC, Saratoga Park revitalization plans call for adult fitness stations and a children’s playground specifically designed to incorporate the highest level of accessibility. Selection of activity equipment and site arrangement will take into account a wide range of different uses and create fitness and play spaces that will strengthen generational bonds and encourage an active lifestyle for all community members.

Multiple town halls and design charrettes were conducted to arrive at a design solution that takes into account many different user groups within the park. Proposed amenities improvements include adding a 0-12 age playground with accessible equipment additional seating, a fitness hub, art sculpture, and shade trees, while retaining a large grass space for active use.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie April 27, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Whatever happens to the parks there needs to be a maintenance plan in place and funded. The entryway that costs so much money looks crappy!


Sam April 27, 2021 at 4:52 pm

I love the plans, they look so beautiful as drawn. The sad reality, though, is that if they are ever built they’ll be looking super crappy once all the vagrants, junkies and “entrepreneurs” set up their card tables full of garbage to sell. Oh well…


Guy April 27, 2021 at 8:41 pm

Band aid that will quickly be torn off…the homeless will love it.

They should extend the boardwalk to connect south and north beach as well…also get rid of all those shady vendors.


Geoff Page April 28, 2021 at 2:43 pm

Hey guys, these are well-intentioned volunteers who worked hard on this. How about adhering to that old piece of advice about speaking up or not depending on whether you have something nice to say or not. I’m sure lots of folk would agree to the comments but is the negativity adding to anything here? Making things work is much harder than just thinking up reasons not to do anything.


kh April 28, 2021 at 9:22 pm

Considering how the gazebo at dusty Rhodes gets used most of the time, I’d question the wisdom of adding shelter at Collier.


Geoff Page April 29, 2021 at 10:44 am

I would agree, kh. I use Collier every day as I live a half block away. It is not a large area of grass and it is used by lots of different people doing lots of different things. That’s not to say the ideas would not be acceptable to everyone. There once was a play area behind the apartments that included swings, a tall slide, a see-saw, and little turtles and animals on springs for the toddlers. My kids loved it. Never was maintained and was eventually all removed, even the little tot stuff.

Collier and some of the others are really neighborhood parks, in contrast with something like Saratoga Park. You will see lots of familiar faces whenever you go to Collier, day in and day out. For parks like these, a poll taken during the morning, evening, and weekend times right at the park would produce the best results. I personally think it is fine the way it is and is too small to do much without restricting the activities that take up room that happen there all the time.

One last note. I did not know, until I tried to have something done about a resident drunk, that this was one of the few park where alcohol consumption is allowed,. But, there are no bathrooms. There is a grove of eucalyptus trees in the northeast corner. Why would alcohol be allowed but no provision made for a bathroom? I’m torn on that one because I don’t want to prevent regular folks from having a drink they can hold without needing a tree. If I went to the city and insisted on a Porta John, they would probably just ban alcohol at the park as cheaper and easier to do. They finally did it at Sunset Cliffs “Natural” Park, so perhaps now is the time.


nostalgic April 29, 2021 at 10:15 am

Ocean Beach has assigned names to parks, perhaps with City encouragement. Parks which prohibit Alcohol use by city Council Ordnance are named. These are not on the list. Oh, well. Next, Ocean Beach Park is dedicated by the City Council, and transferred to the City from the State with deed restrictions. Oh, Well.


Frank Gormlie April 29, 2021 at 10:37 am

Can you be a little more explicit? Are you referring to the fact that OB’s beach, Ocean Beach Park, was a dedicated state park originally? Or …?


nostalgic April 29, 2021 at 12:58 pm

I don’t know how to post a pdf. Here are the words: ” October 15, 1964, Resolution No 181763: BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the City of San Diego as follows: That the Agreement and Grant of Trust of the STATE OF CALIFORNIA, DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREACTION, and DIVISON OF BEACHES AND PARKS, by Charles A. DeTurck, Director, and Edward F. Dolder, Chief, respectively, and the City of San Diego, bearing date of June 25, 1964, conveying to said City the surface and portions of the subsurface down to and including 200 feet below the surface of the lands described in Section 1 of Chapter 2140, Statutes of 1963, as more particularly described in said Agreement and Grant of Trust, be, and the same is hereby accepted on the conditions therein expressed; and the lands therein conveyed are hereby set aside and dedicated as and for park purposes and the same are hereby named OCEAN BEACH PARK.” The trust is a little too long to enter here with the description of the property, but contains the conditions. Would you like the grant of trust emailed somewhere?


Geoff Page April 29, 2021 at 1:02 pm

Can you describe what piece of land this refers to?


Frank Gormlie April 29, 2021 at 1:22 pm

It’s the beach at OB.


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