San Diego community leaders gathered downtown Friday to celebrate the re-dedication of the New Children’s Park – a much-needed play space located just across the way from the New Children’s Museum.
The New Children’s Park is one of very few playgrounds located in busy downtown San Diego. It’s a result the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s efforts to provide more public gathering spaces in the densely-populated area.
At Friday’s park rededication, Kris Michell, president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, and Congressman Scott Peters spoke about those efforts.
"It’s great to be here today to celebrate this great new investment in downtown," Peters said. "'Think, play, create' is a new model for the New Children’s Museum with the mission to stimulate observation and critical thinking in children and families through engaging experiences and art.”
“A lot of people are familiar with the New Children’s Museum but are not familiar with the park that we have here,” said Judy Forrester, executive director and CEO of the New Children’s Museum.
Forrester explained that the public museum and park are branded as new because they offer contemporary art for children and are constantly growing and changing.
“When children have the opportunity to play, they develop their creative skills, their collaborative spirit and their problem solving skills,” she said.
Funding from Wawanesa Insurance helped support improvements to the New Children’s Park so the space could be better used by locals. A $14,000 contribution went toward reinstalling and refurbishing playground equipment.
Parents and children came out to play in the newly-improved space Friday, taking to the swings and running around the garden.
Local nanny, Lisa Glebaucis, frequently visits the park. She said hands-on activities like gardening and playing outside help kids develop. The activities inside the New Children’s Museum are also great, she said.
“We can go inside and enjoy everything that they have to offer in the Children’s Museum,” Glebaucis said. “There is a sandbox, there’s a jumpy house, there’s just so much there to keep them busy and keep their little brains active and curious.”
“Today, more and more housing is happening downtown, including midrange housing and affordable housing,” Forrester said. “All of these bring more families to downtown and more children to downtown. So here we are as the backyard for San Diego residents with a beautiful play area.”