On October 18, 2014, Supervisor Greg Cox, Chairman of the First 5 Commission of San Diego and Executive Director Kim Medeiros joined San Diego County Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Brian Albright to kick off the Pathways to Play project at the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park in San Ysidro, Calif.

Play Pockets a First for County Parks

Have you ever heard of play pockets? These mini playgrounds will soon make their debut in San Diego County. Residents in the south county had a chance to learn all about them at a kickoff event at the Tijuana River Valley Sports Park on Saturday, October 18, 2014.

As kids played games and competed in the whiffle ball home run derby, parents checked out some design ideas for these play pockets. County Parks plans to install them along a path running around the perimeter of the sports park.

The nature-based play pockets are designed for children under the age of 5. As they walk along the path, they’ll come across a little climbing wall or a slide or get a chance to balance on a log before continuing on to find another play pocket hidden just around the corner.

The idea is to get children more active.

“The project will add elements of fun, excitement and discovery to keep children actively engaged and motivated to move,” said Supervisor Greg Cox.

“The project will be a gateway between the organized sports fields and the beautiful natural habitat in the valley,” said County Parks Director Brian Albright. “The nature play experience will get kids excited about playing outside and connected with nature.”

The project is the first of its kind for County parks and will serve as a model for other parks in the region.

The County is working with First 5 San Diego to add play pockets to the sports park. First 5 promotes the health and well-being of children during their most critical years of development, the first five years.

“The project is truly a creative way to combine physical activity and environmental education,” said First 5 San Diego Executive Director Kimberly Medeiros. “This new concept supports First 5 San Diego’s priority to foster a healthy lifestyle and reduce childhood obesity.”

Construction is expected to start in the fall of 2015 and be completed in the spring of 2016.


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