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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.


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 2014.

UPDATE: December 2016
The Site Development Permit Application Continues to be Processed by the City of San Diego.
For more than 2 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 recently secured staff's support for moving forward to the next phase of permitting. We have just presented the project to the City's Wetlands Advisory Board and received their unanimous support (with one abstention). We continue to work with State and Federal Agencies to gain their support and hope to be able to release our Mitigated Negative Declaration for public review and comment in January. If all goes well we will be at Planning Commission soon after that!

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.

Soon we will be launching the next phase of our fundraising effort. This will happen as soon as we are able to release the Mitigated Negative Declaration! In the meantime, financial support is most appreciated. We anticipate needing to raise about $1 million for the first phase of construction.

We have reserved for the Discovery Center!

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 $21.5 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.

Donate Online Now Through Secure PayPal

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.


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!


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 »