Mission Trails Park Station is a winner for landscaping


Spurlock Landscape Architects has won a prestigious award for its work in Mission Trails Regional Park. Photo courtesy of Spurlock Landscape Architects

Landscaping for Mission Trails East Fortuna Field Station Won Spurlock Landscape Architects top honors from the San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The award, presented in June, was particularly gratifying because public works projects are rarely given in advance, said Leigh Kyle, director of Spurlock Landscape Architects.

“Often the projects that win are more glamorous,” Kyle said. “This is a small but really important public infrastructure.”

It must have been a year of exceptions, as San Diego city planners were also singled out for an honorary award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for the parks master plan.

Attention to detail

In awarding Spurlock the Society’s President’s Award, the judges wrote that Mission Trails stood out because “the way this project fits into the context of its surroundings simply goes hand in hand”.

“The plant palette, paving palette, and building materials are sequenced in a delightfully natural and seamless manner, showing obvious attention to detail but at the same time an impressive degree of restraint,” the judges wrote. “Its beauty and the quality of its design are hard to ignore.”

Kyle said part of the credit goes to the park rangers, who worked closely with Spurlock in designing the project and were strong advocates for using native plants that blended into the park’s natural surroundings. .

“They are not only California natives, but they are Mission Trails natives. It means the plants we used really fit into the context in a beautiful way,” Kyle said. “If the city hadn’t been such a big advocate for this approach, it might not have been.”

The nearly one-acre site includes a 5,000 square foot ranger station and a 2,000 square foot shade structure within the 12-acre park.

Landscaping at the site includes a series of 18 boulders at the rear of the station with the tops cut off from four of the boulders to create natural benches.

“There are also some nice ridges that lead you to the public seating area,” Kyle said.

Plants include coastal live sycamores and oaks, sage and California sunflowers.

“It’s very fragrant. There are many seasonal changes. It’s very different from spring to fall. It also looks different from morning to afternoon. The plants are backlit and it displays differently, depending on what time of day you’re there,” Kyle said.
The project includes public works of art created by Roman de Salvo – a large rock with sculpted details serving him. Water flows down the rock from a drinking fountain at the top.


In singling out the planners for an honorary award, society judges wrote that the plan “takes complex information and graphically breaks it down in an digestible way”.

“The focus on the role parks plan in equity is commendable,” the judges wrote, adding that it is “imperative to bring these issues to light and address them.”

Adopted in 2021, the master plan took several years to produce and replaced one that dated back to 1956. It includes a revised funding formula and criteria for park development aimed at developing parks in underserved communities that have a deficit. of parks, paying particular attention to more urban neighborhoods.

Sameera Rao, acting program manager with the city’s planning department, said “a public project winning an honorary award is pretty cool.”

“We’re just really happy to be recognized for that,” Rao said.
Schmidt Design Group also received an Honor Award for Civita Park in Mission Valley and for the E Street Greenway linear park in downtown San Diego.

San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
Creation: 1976
Chair: Patricia Ferman, Principal Landscape Architect, City of Chula Vista
Headquarters: Point Loma
Members: 285
Profession: Sales organization
Contact: 619-283-8818
Social Impact: Climate Action Education, Water Conservation, Stormwater Mitigation, Habitat Restoration, ACE Mentor Program Volunteers.
Note: The society represents landscape architects in private, public and academic practice.

Spurlock Landscape Architects
Directors/Partners: Brad Lents, Leigh Kyle and Yu-Ju Liu
Headquarters: 2122 Hancock Street, San Diego, CA 92110
Company: landscape architecture, urban design and development
Employees: 19
Contact: 619-681-0090 / [email protected]
Social Impact: Makes annual charitable contributions to communities and organizations including the San Diego Food Bank, San Diego Habitat for Humanity, San Diego Coastkeeper, Forever Balboa Park, San Diego Canyonlands, and The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Notable: Spurlock Landscape Architects is an SLBE (Small Local Business Enterprise) certified by the City of San Diego, an SBE (Small Business Enterprise) certified by the State of California Department of General Services and a WOSB (Woman Owned Small Business) ) certified. by the NWBOC (National Women Business Owners Corporation).


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