The Bonita Cove playground replacement effort was initially started as a private initiative launched by the Mission Beach Women’s Club and longtime resident and active community member of Mission Beach, Maruta Gardner. Following the development of projects funded under the Mission Bay Park plan, the replacement was folded into the larger plan to incorporate both the Bonita Cove West comfort station and playground.
Once complete the playground will be renamed after Maruta Gardner, who was tragically struck and killed by an impaired driver three years ago while she was painting out graffiti in South Mission. When she passed, Faulconer pledged the City’s full support in naming the park in her honor.
Improvements to the park include renovation of the half-acre playground, replacement of the comfort station, a new shade structure, sidewalks, and pedestrian curb ramps to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards and enhanced security lighting. Construction costs total $3.4 million.
“Thanks to the voters the revenue generated by hotels and other leaseholds on Mission Bay’s public parklands is now being spent to improve Mission Bay Park,” Faulconer said. “The Bonita Cove project, in particular, holds a special meaning for this community who have pushed to ensure it will be named after a beloved San Diegan who spent her entire life in service of her city.”
Cordelia Mendoza, president of Mission Beach Women’s Club, spoke after the mayor and said that Maruta’s spirit will live on at the new park. “Bonita Cove will be Maruta-ized, just like Mission Beach and the rest of us were,” she added.
Last year, Faulconer announced the over $40 million in projects planned over the next few years for Mission Bay Park that are the direct result of two voter-approved ballot initiatives to dedicate millions of dollars to improve regional parks. Faulconer helped author Proposition C in 2008 and Measure J in 2016.
Over the next six years, City upgrades to Mission Bay Park call for environmental protection and infrastructure projects, including new and improved playgrounds, comfort stations and other public amenities.
- Bay dredging – More than $10 million has been spent to restore navigational safety to the bay, which is a top priority for Mission Bay Park.
- Parking lots – More than $5 million for parking lot resurfacing at Crown Point North, De Anza North, De Anza South, Dog Beach, North Cove, Old Sea World Drive, Santa Clara, Dusty Rhodes, Hospitality Point, Mission Point, Ocean Beach Dog Beach Walkway, Quivira Road, Playa Pacifica North, Robb Field, Rose Marie Starns South Shores, Sunset Point, Tecolote North and Tecolote South.
- Playgrounds – Nearly $8 million to replace playground equipment at Bonita Cove West, Crown Point, Santa Clara, Tecolote North, Tecolote South, Bonita Cove East, Dusty Rhodes, Mission Point, Playa Pacifica and Robb Field.
- Comfort stations – More than $7 million to replace and upgrade comfort stations at Bonita Cove West, El Carmel, Mission Bay Athletic Area, North Cove, Santa Clara, Tecolote North, Tecolote South, Bonita Cove East, Dusty Rhodes, Hospitality Point, Mission Point, Playa Pacifica, Robb Field, Sunset Point and Ventura.
- Fitness and recreation facilities – More than $3 million to replace and upgrade the adult fitness course on East Mission Bay and the recreation center at Robb Field.