“The aging restrooms at Bonita Cove West were constructed in 1961, and the last time the playground was updated there was 1995,” said City parks designer Kevin Nguyen. “Upgrades are planned to both the comfort station and playground equipment, with project completion by Memorial Day 2020.”
Consultant Glen Schmidt of Schmidt Design Group pointed out Bonita Cove West “is a very unique site adjacent to Belmont Park and is part of the fabric of this community (Mission Beach).” He added restroom/playground improvements were designed “with the undulations and movement” of Belmont Park in mind.
“We used those forms in the composition of the playground to show vibrancy, whimsey and color, playing off Belmont Park’s amusement aspects,” Schmidt said. “We’re weaving these elements into each of the playground’s components.”
Schmidt added playground upgrades will include a playful rope structure and a picnic pavilion that he said will “provide a great tapestry for color,” to be included with “steel umbrellas to be located throughout the Cove for shade.”
In 2016 voters approved Measure J, which extended 2008’s Proposition C. J earmarks a portion of Mission Bay lease revenue for capital investments in Mission Bay and other regional parks for 30 more years – generating an estimated $1.5 billion through 2069.
In 2017, the Oversight Committee approved the Mission Bay Park Improvement Fund, a 10-year plan for long-term investments. Those include $7 million for a master environmental report, along with long-term funding for numerous projects: bay dredging, new lighting and parking lot resurfacing, construction of comfort stations and bike and walking paths, replacing/upgrading adult fitness and recreation centers and creating new playgrounds.
Nguyen added the walkway, picnic tables and other amenities in Bonita Cove West are also to be improved. “We will have final designs for that project in June 2019, and we’ll put it out to bid and award a contract in October, and start construction in November,” he said.
Officials plan on returning to the Oversight Committee in April to “seek approval for renaming Bonita Cove West improvements for Maruta Gardner.” Former MBHS principal Gardner was tragically killed by an intoxicated driver while painting out graffiti in Mission Beach in 2016.
City project manager James Arnhart added the Bonita Cove West project “gives us the opportunity to solicit input and comment on what you would like us to focus on and take a look at.” He added the project’s environmental study will address numerous issues including making the Rose Creek watershed more navigable by eliminating hazards, and expanding existing wetlands while improving overall water quality.
“Rose Creek and the Kendall-Frost Marsh it runs into have been neglected for years,” said Karin Zirk of Friends of Rose Creek. “We’re glad to see the city moving forward with reconnecting Rose Creek with Kendall-Frost.”
The March meeting was attended by a large contingent of yellow-shirted Campland on the Bay supporters, who’ve been lobbying against the city’s plans to ultimately replace Campland’s waterfront lodging with expanded marshland.
Jacob Gelfand of Campland said their lease was extended in April 2017 for three years with two, one-year options for the city to extend it beyond that through November 2022.
“Both De Anza and current Campland properties have historically provided waterfront, visitor-serving RV camping access,” said Gelfand. “Any plan that moves forward for city council approval should preserve and enhance affordable coastal access in the form of waterfront camping and recreation. Campland would relish the opportunity to continue providing unforgettable camping experiences and family-friendly fun for future generations.”