Robb Field and Dusty Rhodes Parks in Ocean Beach Need Improvments

by on April 29, 2021 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

Editordude: This is the third and final part of our series highlighting proposed improvements of Ocean Beach’s parks. The proposals come from the Ocean Beach Planning Board Parks Subcommittee. (Here is the original.)

Robb Field

The largest recreation space in Ocean Beach, Robb Field is a great community asset that can be updated to provide more recreational amenities and support a diverse range of activities and interests.

Robb Field Athletic Field is the main recreation space in Ocean Beach, and home to many activities that draw users from all over San Diego.

The playground equipment at Robb Field is nearly 50 years old, at least since the early 1970s.

Proposed Improvements

Community requests include the addition of:

  • a disc golf training course around the perimeter of the park,
  • a bike path connecting the San Diego River bike trail to Bacon Street,
  • an updated playground,
  • a community art wall,
  • horseshoe pits along the West side of the fields, and
  • a community garden space.

Dusty Rhodes Park

A multi-use field, dog park, and playground plagued by maintenance and accessibility issues, Dusty Rhodes Park is primed for an update.

This high-volume park with City-wide usage is in need of ADA accessible pathways and playground substrate, along with community-requested additions of a dedicated soccer field and modified maintenance schedule.

Requested improvements to Dusty Rhodes Park include:

  • an ADA accessible trail connecting the two parking lots, (Shown as “Line E” in Figure 1),
  • the addition of an ADA accessible playground substrate;
  • benches, shade structures, lighting, top-operated watering station, and a gravel entrance area in the dog park to increase usability,
  • a dedicated soccer field with lighting, bleachers/benches and goal posts,
  • water bottle stations and
  • protective fencing near playground,
  • partition the dog park in thirds so that one-third may be rotated out to address ongoing maintenance issues.

On-site interviews with frequent users of the dog park were undertaken to assess the usability and accessibility issues from the park. Persons interviewed had these requests:

1. Shade trees or sail structures along the chain link fence perimeter area shown in Figure 1.2.

2. Bounded gravel area at the interior and exterior entry to mitigate standing water issues which are a threat to dog health. Users of the park have stacked rocks to try and correct, but need a better solution.

3. Another entry/exit gate at the South edge of the dog park to make it easier for users to access the restroom facility. There is currently no access.

4. Everyone interviewed said that the water station is in need of replacement. It’s frequent malfunction is due to it having a push-button operation near the base of the unit which gets full of dirt. The fountain gets stuck in the on position and overflows, resulting in a standing water/mud puddle.

Additional Considerations

In addition to measuring area parks against the City of San Diego’s Parks Master Plan, the OBPB Parks Subcommittee carried out a series of community discussions focused on accessibility and equity in our parks system, along with examining themes of usability, wellness opportunities, and the ways in which our parks are used as a space for enhanced community building.

Accessibility & Equity

Public parks and playgrounds are an important environment for leisure activity in urban spaces, which all generations and people of all abilities should be able to enjoy at low or no cost. Valuing equity and universal accessibility of public parks and recreational facilities is essential to ensuring the improvement of mental and physical health for all users.


Ensuring that residents can easily enjoy parks and recreational facilities is a key factor in urban planning. Increased lighting is a recurring issue in Ocean Beach park evaluations – particularly in the winter months, it is a needed component in facilitating after-work enjoyment of park spaces.


The role of parks in improving the overall health and wellness of the community cannot be overstated. Access to parks and other recreation facilities is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth. Open space and active lifestyles have been shown to support a sense of increased well-being among residents.


Parks and recreational activities offer opportunities for people from all age groups and all walks of life to interact and learn from one another, thereby strengthening community ties and adding societal value to neighborhoods.


Of the seven parks evaluated by the Ocean Beach Planning Board Parks Subcommittee, there are three that will most directly benefit from improved amenities.

Those are:

  • Spray Street Park
  • Saratoga Park
  • Ebers Street Park

We identified several potential accessibility issues which could restrict participation of persons with disabilities. These are particularly prevalent at Robb Field and Dusty Rhodes Park and should be addressed as soon as possible. However, because Robb Field and Dusty Rhodes Park improvements are outside of the purview of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, this Subcommittee will limit its requests to parks within its planning area borders.

Let’s Make Great Parks.


Nicole Ueno
Chair, Ocean Beach Planning Board Parks Subcommittee

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Steve Pond August 6, 2022 at 8:14 am

I tried playing basketball at Robb Field but could not because the courts are in such poor condition. Both courts are unplayable. I have a background in managing SD park sites and I see maintenance staff that are overwhelmed because of staffing issues and neglect.
I think we as a community are getting short changed at this park. I would like to help my community so my first thing is to speak up.
Steve Pond


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