In October we celebrate bi-national health week, a culmination of cross-border outreach efforts that encourage people to make choices for healthier, happier lives. Latino-friendly programs include educational workshops, vaccinations, medical screenings and recommendations for better self-care.
The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) supports these efforts every day, with free access to an expansive 1,800-acre park 1 mile from the U.S.-Mexico border called Tijuana River Valley Regional Park (TRVRP). Geography deems it a multi-cultural destination. Biology sets it apart from other parts of San Diego with its resilient waterways and unique plant and animals species.
The park is open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. until sunset, attracting hikers, bikers, equestrians and photographers capturing nature shots under the Pacific Flyway – an airborne thoroughfare that attracts more than 300 bird species.
See them up close at the bird and butterfly garden at 2310 Hollister St., and at the popular Dairy Mart Pond Overlook. Or traverse 22.5 miles of multi-use trails, the result of a trail revitalization project that closed redundant trails and reinforced and/or expanded trails high-traffic areas – balancing habitat restoration with opportunities to maximize recreation.
Planned hikes and interpretive programs are offered year-round, open to all ages with content that appeals to a wide range of interests and abilities.
Locals play ball at the sports complex on the north side of the park, located at 2487 Sunset Ave., which contains one multi-use turf field and five individual playing fields.
A little known fact about this park is that it contains a 25-acre community garden – the largest of its kind in all of San Diego. DPR partners with the Resource Conservation District to maintain this parcel, and they coordinate with local gardeners who grow a mix of common fruits and vegetables and cultural staples like nopales and Laotian cucumbers. We’re proud to be able to offer this amenity to South County residents. It’s a perfect example of what we’re doing to promote the County’s Live Well campaign – inspiring healthy choices and active lifestyles.
Download the Easy2Hike app before you head out to get real-time information about trails, points of interest, closures and planned activities. TRVRP is one of 16 parks that are part of this DPR pilot program, joining a network of trails that span the state of California including those in Riverside, San Bernardino and San Francisco Counties.
DPR is always looking for ways to improve existing amenities and create new ways for people to connect with the outside world – a desire rooted in studies that show links between positive outdoor experiences and physical and mental wellbeing. The Tijuana River Valley Regional Park is an excellent example of an active “play space” for adventure seekers and health-minded citizens, on both sides of the border.