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Monday, October 10, 2011

Preferred Alternative Set for Mast Park Plan

Monday, October 10, 2011

A design proposal that would serve as a blueprint for redeveloping Mast Park is ready to be reviewed by the Santee Parks and Recreation Committee and ultimately the City Council.

Award-winning landscape architect Glen Schmidt, who earlier this summer drafted three design options, presented the preferred alternative at a public workshop held Oct. 6 at City Hall.

Highlights of the refined design proposal include:
  • Intalling a new restroom that is water and energy efficient
  • Paving a nine-tenths-of-a-mile-long concrete loop trail
  • Creating 45 new parking spaces along the park's northern border
  • Adding two boardwalks that would offer close-up views of the river
  • Erecting a new entry sign and orientation signs
  • Creating dry creek beds that would serve as natural play areas for kids and also divert runoff into a bioswale that would reduce pollution reaching the river
  • Adding three new shaded picnic pavilions, including a large gazebo suitable for weddings or family reunions
  • Cluster new exercise apparatuses at a fitness station
In keeping with the community's wishes to retain the park's natural, rustic appearance, the design calls for keeping the park's mature trees and adding low-growing native plants.  The basketball court would remain, as would the off-leash dog park, which would be divided into separate areas for small and large dogs.

Schmidt has also proposed some unique features, such as so-called "discovery nodes" where visitors would learn about wildlife along the river, Kumeyaay Indian culture or Santee's pioneer history.

The proposed master plan will be presented to the Santee Park and Recreation Committee and the City Council in November.

Funding for the $117,000 project has been assisted by a Healthy Communities Planning Grant from the San Diego Association of Governments.  The grant is a component of Health Works, a countywide initiative promoting wellness and addressing the nationwide obesity epidemic.

A short video explaining key aspects of the master plan can be viewed on YouTube.

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