A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday morning to reveal a newly improved park in Mission Bay – a park that’s been named in honor of a late community leader.
The Maruta Gardner Playground in Bonita Cove is the latest park to be transformed under San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s plan to upgrade city parks for a new generation. Attendants donned masks and cheered at the ribbon-cutting at the bittersweet event.
“As we all know, Maruta Gardner playground is named after a very special Mission Beach resident who cared so much about this community,” Faulconer told NBC 7 at the ceremony. “To open the park in her honor after she was tragically killed four years ago, and to see the smile on people’s faces, this represents what we’re doing, not just here in Mission Bay, but playgrounds across the city.”
Gardner, who was an active community leader, was struck and killed by an impaired driver in 2016 as she was painting over graffiti.
With the Bonita Cove park being renamed in her honor last year, Gardner’s memory will live on as children and families will visit the green space for years to come.
Renovations for the half-acre park cost $3.4 million and included a new shade structure, better lighting and sidewalks and curbs that satisfied standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.