facebook youtube linkedin instagram twitter

River Center at Grant Park

Construction is underway with completion planned for summer 2024

Rendering of interactive stage
Artist rendering of 100 seat staged with shade structure

"Programs like yours
are the only way my students
get to nature"


More than 15,000 students

have participated in

our nature education



There are 70,000+ students
at schools

within 15 minutes

of this site in Mission Valley


With your support

we will open this

center and expand
our capacity to

reach 10,000 annually!


Dream is getting closer to reality!

Imagine a place where 10,000 students per year will be able to have the San Diego River as a classroom - where research and nature stewardship come together to create a special learning experience at a new 17 acre facility in the heart of Mission Valley.


Tthe River Center at Grant Park will provide that and more.

The students will arrive at the 100 seat outdoor learning stage pictured above. As they settle in they may be greeted by a hawk or other animal ambassador.

This will just be the start of their inspiring experience as they break into smaller groups to learn, explore, and have fun. With a goal of creating a connection with nature, trained, passionate educators will guide the students through a meaningful experience.


When not in use by the Cool River youth education program, other events at the stage will take place. This is all part of a 17 acre river-focused facility. The site has gardens, commons area with an arbor for events, and interpretive features.


Wtth its strategic location it is set to be the hub of activity for exploring the river, especially the Western 9. Perhaps you want to take a walk or ride along the regional San Diego River Trail or join in for a bat walk, bird survey or photography session. There will be yoga, art and other activities, too!

April 29, 2024
Exciting News! The project has been awarded $500,000 in federal funds! Thank you to Congresswoman Sara Jacobs and our SD congressional delegation!

You can help!
$14,000 needs to be raised for the costs to complete a NEPA clearance which is required before we can receive any funding from the $500,000 grant.

Every $1 you donate will generate $35.7 project!
Donate $100 and that will result in $3570 for the project!

Donate $1000 and that results in $35,700 going to the project! Wow!


With your support we can activate this $500,000 for the River Center at Grant Park!

You can support this important community endeavor!
For donations of $200 or more, special opportunities are available. LEARN MORE


Online with PAYPAL:

VENMO: @sandiegoriver
For: River Center

or use this link

By Mail: send a check to:
The San Diego River Park Foundation
4891 Pacific Highway, Suite 114
San Diego, CA 92110
Memo: River Center at Grant Park

Credit card by telephone: call 619-297-7380 M - F 8:30 - 1:30PM


  • Gifts of stock or mutual funds- click here for details
  • IRA distributions
  • Wire transfers

    Please call us if you have any questions at 619-297-7380

The San Diego River Park Foundation is a 501c3 public benefit nonprofit. All donations are tax-deductible as provided by law. EIN 01-0565671

Watch a brief video about the project


Project Summary
  • 17 acre site in Mission Valley with river running through it

  • 70,000+ students at schools within 15 minute travel time
  • 100 seat interpretive experience stage
  • Program building for cool river lab and distance learning
  • Sustainable and accessible design
  • Mutliple locations for small group learning
  • 13+ acres available for field study
  • Touch tank and other interactive exhibits
  • Key location along regional San Diego River Trail
  • Interpretive elements with emphasis on the San Diego River as a living resource
  • Park amenities, gardens, restrooms, refreshment stand and more!

Girl learning to plant

Special Opportunities

$200 - Engraved Commemorative Paver

Example of Paver

Your donation of $200 will secure you a wonderful 4 inch by 8 inch commemorative paver to be installed along the entry path.

There are two options: engrave 3 lines of text with 20 characters on each line (including spaces) OR engrave 3 lines of text with 14 characters and art (bobcat paw, eagle, trout, oak tree, or frog).

Now taking orders for the next round of pathway pavers. These will be installed after the Entry Monument Sign foundation work is complete. Anticipate installation in March.

Donate online using secure PayPal below.
After that is completed, you can use this online Google form to provide your engraving information or we will send you a form to complete. Questions? Call 619-297-7380.


Other Ways to Donate:

Donate by Mail: Form (PDF)

Call us at 619-297-7380

Commemorative Engraved River Rocks $500 and $1000

Your river rock will be easily accessible along the Intereactive Stage Entry Wall.

Rendering of entry wall

There are two sizes of river rocks for $500 or $1000. They will be installed when the seating area for the Conrad Prebys Stage is built.

You can engrave 3 lines of text with 20 characters or spaces per line.

For donations online, we will contact youafter you donate for your engraving details.

Mail In Form with engraving details(PDF)

Donate $5000 or more and

Join the River Society

Donations can be made in the form of a pledge

$5000- River Club

Benefits: Be recognized on the permanent dedication sign

$10,000 - Park Partners

Benefits: More prominent recognition on the permanent dedication sign

$25,000 - Founder's Circle

Benefits: Be invited to a special tour of the site and pre-opening reception.

For cummaltive donations of $100,000 or more additional benefits are available.
Please contact our Senior Manager of Philanthropy, Pat Rice, at 619-297-7380.

Mail in Form (PDF) for Donations or Pledges of $5000 or more


Are You Looking For Something Very Special?

A limited number of unique opportunities are now available:

Dedicated Park Bench - $5000 and +
Waterfall located at one of the stage entrances (8 foot tall)
Critter Walk - Path Dedication
The Den - the learning center building

Entry Courtyard


For each of these we will work with you to recognize your generous donation.

To discuss these opportunities:
Contact Pat Rice, Senior Manager for Philanthropy and Government Relations
Click Here to Reach Pat by email
or call 619-297-7380 x 103

This project is being constructed in phases as funding allows. Phase 1 included grading, sidewalk, traffic lights, underground utilities and more. Phase 2 is the current work. The base project includes the 100 seat Conrad Prebys stage, a section of the San Diego River Pathway, gardens and the commons. As fundraising reaches milestones, several components will be added to the base project including a Learning Lab, shade structure, Critter Walk Art Feature, and PV trellis in the parking lot. We are currently focused on raising funds for the Learning Center and $341,000 for the shade structure.


Tours Are Available

Tours can be arranged for groups of 10 or more. Open tours are available on Thursdays and some weekends. Contact Pat Rice at 619-297-7380 x103 or by email to schedule your tour!

Your Group Can Help

We are signing up groups for planting and other activities between now and July.

Contact Shane Conta by email or call 619-297-7380 to get involved.

Special Thanks To The President Circle Donors:

Vantile Company, LLC Conrad Prebys Foundation
Alta Company, LLC Tom and Cookie Sudberry
Philip Pryde Quarry Falls, LLC
An anonymous gift Hervey Family Fund at the San Diego Foundation

Rendering of Grant Park

Rendering of the neighborhood commons including The Arbor.

Learn More


2450 Camino del Rio N
in Mission Valley

Latest News

4/29/24 $500,000, in Federal Funds awarded! To accept funds, NEPA compliance needs to be completed.

$14,000 needs to be raised for this process.


4/19/24 $371,000 fundraising goal met learning stage shade structure can be added!!


4/8/24 Fundraising for Phase 2 passes $5M!


3/1/24 Phase 2 construction passes 20%

2/1/24 Total Project Fundraising tops $10.4 M

9/28/23 City of San Diego Issues Building Permit for second phase!

8/1/23 State Awards $2.5 M for Construction

5/8/23 $4.68 M Fundraising Goal met for Phase 1