With only 45 percent of San Diego County’s total land area being green space, and even less in certain park-poor communities, it’s no surprise that philanthropists and nonprofits have made a strong commitment to connect, protect and increase access to the outdoors so that all San Diegans have access to parks and open spaces.
An online tool aims to strengthen that commitment.
Thanks to grant support from the Brutten Family Fund at The San Diego Foundation, you can find any of the 1,100 parks in San Diego with the click of a mouse or tap of a finger on GetOutsideSanDiego.org.
Launched in May 2017, this mobile-friendly website features everything from the smallest neighborhood park to huge open space preserves and can be a valuable resource for kids, families, seniors or anyone else looking to explore outdoor recreation in San Diego County.
“Get Outside San Diego is the first of its kind,” said Dan Rademacher of GreenInfo Network, the site’s creator. “While search engines and web maps can be useful for finding neighborhood parks, they don’t have accurate park details for the entire county.
“Get Outside San Diego allows users to search for all San Diego parks in one central location to find the perfect park, preserve or open space. And the ‘Adventures’ feature brings both depth and breadth, with local park experts sharing their favorite spots.”
You can find parks and sort by 20 different activities or themes (hiking, beaches, ball parks, fishing, wildlife viewing, playgrounds, camping and more), get directions and links to parks, download maps of individual parks and share favorite locations on social media.
Why Do Parks Matter?
San Diego’s parks and natural areas are a model for the preservation of green space for people and wildlife alike. According to the Parks for Everyone report, parks matter because:
- Access to green space directly correlates with decreased rates of obesity in adults and children
- They create opportunities for both physical and mental wellness
- Neighborhood parks contribute to community building and provide a gathering place for celebration
- Green spaces raise property values, filter out air and water pollutants, and provide shade on hot days
Parks satisfy our need for social interaction by enticing residents into public spaces with trees, greenery, and venues for sports and active recreation. Parks become a source of community building, pride and inspiration for further neighborhood improvements and revitalization.
Social interaction and neighborhood spaces have been identified as key facets of healthy communities.
Access Parks and Open Spaces
So, what are you waiting for?
Find one of the 1,100 parks nearest you or get out and explore a new area through GetOutsideSanDiego.org. With summer quickly approaching, use this tool to take advantages of the many benefits that parks provide.
What are some of your favorite parks in San Diego and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below!