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Maruta Gardner Playground at Bonita Cove

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  Landscape Architecture

Maruta Gardner Playground at Bonita Cove Park Mission Bay is a project dedicated to its Mission Beach community providing fun and recreation alongside respect and remembrance. The playground’s namesake is Maruta Gardner, a longtime Mission Beach community leader who was tragically killed while removing graffiti by an impaired driver. Mrs. Gardner, along with the Mission Beach Woman’s Club, launched the initial campaign to improve the aging Bonita Cove Park playground. 

The playground has quickly become a beloved staple of the San Diego park system.  The half-acre reconfigured playground replaced an outdated play area with an accessible and engaging playground. The project also included the replacement of the comfort station, a new shade structure, enhanced security lighting, and ADA-compliant sidewalk and ramp improvement. At the heart of the playground is a large, sprawling rope climbing structure designed as a nod to the neighboring Belmont Park’s iconic Big Dipper roller coaster. Belmont Park and its history inspired the whimsical cotton candy pink-and-blue color scheme, striped umbrellas, and the picnic shade structure designed to emulate the historic Big Dipper entrance, and ticket booths.

The playground provides a number of unique play elements designed for children of all ages and abilities to aid in their physical and social development. Examples includes single and double-seated swings, climbing equipment, balance equipment, slides, social spaces, hammocks, see-saws, and spinners to name just a few. The playground has become a must see (and experience) destination for families living in and visiting our region!

Bonita Cove, 1100 W Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109

Project Owner/Developer:
City of San Diego

Contact Name/Email:
Kevin Ngyuen, ktnguyen@sandiego.gov

Project Architect/Designer:
Schmidt Design Group

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