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The San Diego River Discovery Center at Grant Park

Download a fact sheet here: Discovery Center at Grant Park Fact Sheet.

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Imagine a place that brings people together to foster a sense of community, provides greatly needed park space and reawakens connections to the region’s namesake river. Imagine a place that advances an understanding of the San Diego River and promotes stewardship of this important ecological and cultural resource so that it thrives into the future.

Imagine a place that provides hands-on science based nature education and experiences to 25,000 kids each year!

In May 2009, this vision of a new place where people could enjoy and connect with the San Diego River took a major step forward when the San Diego River Park Foundation signed a donation agreement with a remarkable family, the Grants. This longstanding San Diegan family decided to donate their 17-acre river-fronting property to benefit the community of Mission Valley and San Diego in general.

With this inspiring action, the San Diego River Discovery Center at Grant Park was born.

This 17-acre site is in the heart of Mission Valley. Prominently located at the northeast corner of Qualcomm Way and Camino del Rio North, the site is easily accessible by foot, bicycle, trolley, bus and automobile.

Grant Park is being designed to serve as a nature-based park, education center and community destination. It will also be a place that we find inspiration in our San Diego River. We anticipate receiving required building permits in 2017.

UPDATE: December 2017

Design Team Submits Comments and Revisions to City
For more than 3 1/2 years, we have been working with the City of San Diego for approval of the required Site Development Permit for the project.

We have received notificiation from the CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service that they have no further questions. We have received the City's Wetlands Advisory Board unanimous support (with one abstention) and the Mission Valley Planning Group's endorsement.

We are now working with City staff on their latest round of comments about our last project submittal. .

We are optimistic that we have resolved all outstanding issues and so soon our Mitigated Negative Declaration can be released for its 30-day public review and comment period. That will be a key milestone. When that process is completed, we will be ready to go to the City of San Diego Planning Commission to seek approval of our permit.

Our tremendous thanks to all the wonderful supporters who have donated funds to allow the project to get to this point. Their commitment to this dream is incredible.

As soon as we are able to release the MND for public review we will launch a fundraising drive for the first phase of construction. We have set an initial goal of $1.3M (this number will be refined during the permitting process). We welcome gifts to help keep this process going. We have set a goal of raising $125,000 to get ready to breakground.

First Phase of Construction: $1,300,000

Goal to Breakground

12/29/17 - $35,000 Raised toward Goal!

Thank you to everyone who responded to our Giving Tuesday effort. We raised more than $10,000! With additional funding we have raised a total of more than $25,000! So we have $100,000 to raise to meet our goal to help us get ready to break ground.

As part of Giving Tuesday on Nov. 28, 2017 we launched a campaign to raise these needed funds to keep the project moving forward.

COMMENTS and QUESTIONS are invited! Click here to send us an email with your thoughts and questions

When the land value, design, permitting and construction costs as well as a $2.5 million operating reserve are considered, the Board of Directors adopted a budget for this project of $21.6 million. More than 60% of the total budget has aready been raised. If you would like to learn about how you can support this project, please contact Rob Hutsel, President and CEO at 619-297-7380 x108 or by email.

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Other Donation Options
1. By Mail: Send a check payable to " The San Diego River Park Foundation" to PO Box 80126, San Diego, CA 92138 or print form.

2. By Phone: (619) 297-7380 9AM - 6PM Monday - Friday to make a donation by credit or bank card over the phone.

Our EIN is 01-0565671
As a 501 c3 public benefit non-profit, your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law.


Lead Architect: Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects

MIG Landscape Architecture
Helix Environmental
Rick Engineering
Olman Interpretive Design
RECON Environmental
Dusty Ucker, Project Manager

Interested in learning more about this project? Presentations can also be made to your group or organization. Contact Rob Hutsel, President and CEO, at or (619) 297-7380.




Major Gift Donors and Grantors

$100,000 or +
Cookie and Tom Sudberry
San Diego River Conservancy
Westfield LLC
Jerry and Jill Hall Charitable Fund at The San Diego Foundation
The Parker Foundation
Alta Company LLC

$25,000 - $99,999
Sempra Energy Foundation
San Diego Gas & Electric
San Diego Kiwanis Club Foundation
Fay Riha
Principal Life Insurance Company (Hazard Center)
Price Philanthropies Foundation
Claude A. and Johann S. Petty Foundation
Claude Petty and Luis Mandujano

This list will be updated. Thank you to all donors and grantors!

Special thanks to all who have put the Discovery Center at Grant Park in your estate plans!
If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact our CEO, Rob Hutsel at 619-297-7380 x 108.


Thank to all who have donated $500 for a Discover Rock to be placed in the River of Discovery art feature!

Reserve your rock today »