Opened in 1974, Mission Trails Regional Park has become one of the largest urban parks in the United States.
Mission Trails Regional Park opened in 1974.

The Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation has received a $2 million grant from the San Diego River Conservancy to acquire private land for the park.

The foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving, protecting and improving the park, will obtain the land, in the East Elliott Community Plan area north of state Route 52. Following the acquisition, the foundation will donate it to the city of San Diego.

Already one of the largest urban parks in the U.S., the acquisition, along with another by the city in July, will lead to an additional 100 new acres for the park.

The efforts support the park’s 2019 Master Plan Update and the city’s Multiple Species Conservation Program, a regional effort to preserve land essential to local plants and animals.

The foundation’s executive director, Jennifer Morrissey said the funding will allow for conservation that “will help to increase public understanding of natural spaces and foster environmental stewardship.

The conservancy is an independent, non-regulatory state agency established to preserve, restore, and enhance the San Diego River area. Julia Richards, the agency’s executive officer said the foundation’s plan for the funding supports California’s goal to conserve 30% of state
lands and coastal waters by 2030.

The acquisition process funded by the grant is expected to take up to two years. The foundation plans to work to secure additional funding to support other private land acquisition opportunities for the park. Officials have identified approximately 600 acres in the East Elliott Community Plan Area.