A pond at the Tijuana Valley Regional Park
A pond at the Tijuana Valley Regional Park. Courtesy County of San Diego

County supervisors Wednesday unanimously approved a new campground in the Tijuana River Valley and an upgrade for a Rancho San Diego park.

The campground to be located about one mile south of the Tijuana River, “will provide opportunities for healthy, outdoor physical activity and exploration of the adjacent trail system with access to the beach nearby,” according to a staff report.

Located just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, the 1,800-acre Tijuana River Valley Regional Park includes 22.5 miles of trails, a bird and butterfly garden, a large community garden, baseball fields, soccer fields and open space. Along with a campground, there are plans to build Nature Education Activity Center.

According to the county, the first construction phrase will cost $6.3 million. If a $2 million state Coastal Conservancy grant is awarded in March, $8.3 million will be available for the project. Phase 1 of construction will start this fall and finish in spring 2020, county officials said.

More funding will be needed for the second construction phase. The county will pursue another Coastal Conservancy grant, officials said.

Supervisor Greg Cox said the campground was good news not only for the South Bay, but for all county residents.

A recent study found a strong demand for camping along the coast, but those areas tend to be very crowded, Cox said. Having camping in the river valley will allow people a low-cost opportunity, he added.

Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said the board’s decision to upgrade the eight- acre Woodhaven Park in the community of Rancho San Diego will save both money and water.

The $750,000 project involves converting from municipal water to well water and replacing some of the park’s turf grass with drought-tolerant landscaping.

Jacob said the improvements will reduce water usage by 1.8 million gallons per year and save the county $55,000 annually.

Residents will also be able to take advantage of an ADA-compliant walking path with outdoor fitness stations, according to the county. The park upgrade is slated to start this spring, with completion expected in the fall.

–City News Service