A view of Mission Trails Regional Park from the visitors center. Photo by Dmadeo via Wikimedia Commons

Pardee Homes, working with state and local conservation groups, is dedicating 178 acres of open space to the City of San Diego to be included in Mission Trails Regional Park.

The open space dedication is the result of a 2014 agreement and subsequent negotiations between Pardee and the conservation groups over the Weston master planned community, a 415-home neighbrhood located near the park just off of State Route 52 and north of Mast Boulevard.

“As a lifelong outdoorsman and elected representative for the area, I am excited to see Mission Trails, a true gem in the regional park system, grow by nearly 200 acres,” said San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman on Thursday. “The hard work and collaboration between various local authorities and Pardee Homes will ensure the growth and success of the park for many years to come.”

The collaboration with Preserve Wild Santee, the Center for Biological Diversity and the California Chaparral Institute ensures protections for Quail Canyon Creek and protects sensitive wildlife and plants. The 178 acres of open space being dedicated is in addition to nearly half of the 204-acre Weston (formerly Castlerock) site that will also be preserved as permanent open space.

“The dedication of this scenic wildlife habitat will be a crucial step forward for our greater vision of linking Mission Trails Regional Park with Sycamore Canyon Preserve,” said Van Collinsworth of Preserve Wild Santee. “Broad healthy linkages of habitat are essential for the survival and recovery of threatened and endangered species such as the California gnatcatcher and the Quino Checkerspot butterfly.”

“We are excited to collaborate on this important dedication of land and look forward to dedicating this space to the city and the people while providing much-needed quality housing options to the area,” said Jimmy Ayala, division president of Pardee Homes.

The dedication will help Mission Trails park expand to nearly 7,400 acres and further solidify it as one of the largest urban parks in the United States.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.