Civita Park wins landscaping award

The American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego Chapter (ASLA), recently granted Schmidt Design Group (SDG) an honorary award for Civita Park, a 14.3-acre community park in the heart of Mission Valley. Civita is a 230 acre sustainable urban village being developed on the site of a former sand and gravel quarry.

There are desert plants around a path with a multi-storey building in the background
Drought-resistant plantings are an important part of Civita’s goal of being sustainable.

As part of this year’s ASLA Design Awards program, jurors from across the country selected one President’s Award, four Honor Awards and 14 Merit Awards.

In judging Civita Park, jurors said: ‘This is a landmark project that is highly recognizable, tells a story and is a significant community asset. It does a great job of taking a large site and breaking it down into defined areas that provide a variety of experiences and a high level of interest.

Considered the first major step in what has been dubbed an “open space renaissance” in the Mission Valley community, the park features numerous terraced amenity sites, including a central plaza with a custom amphitheater, community gardens, two dog runs, two children’s games. zones, game zones and many public art features. A “garden of mining relics” as well as interpretive and educational panels connect visitors to the site’s history as a sand and gravel quarry. This park is a sustainable, engaging and world-class park loved by its community and visitors.

An aerial map of the large park

We have been fortunate to work with some amazing clients on the design of the park – the Sudberry and Grant families – who have never wavered from their commitment to excellence and quality,” said Glen Schmidt, FASLA, Founder of Schmidt Design Group.

Since the completion of Civita Park, SDG has won eight awards for the park, including:

two Orchids Awards, San Diego Architectural Foundation, 2020 and 2017.

Achievement Award, California Parks and Recreation Society, 2021

Parks Make Life Better Award, California Parks and Recreation Society-District 12, 2021

Healthy Public Open Space Award, Urban Land Institute, San Diego–Tijuana, 2017

Orchid, Landscape Architecture (Phase II), Orchids and Onions Public Awareness Awards Program, 2020 and 2017

Amazing Urban Forestry Project Award, California Urban Forests Council, 2017

Honorary Award (Phase II), American Public Works Association, 2020

Outstanding Award (Phase I), American Public Works Association, 2018

Civita Park is inspired by its history, creating a unique and memorable sense of place,” said Schmidt.

SDG also won an Honor Award for E Street Greenway, a linear park in East Village. Jurors commented, “This linear park has a vibrant downtown feel with an artistic flair that successfully activates the space. The design is thoughtful, providing points of interest that
any business owner would be delighted to have it featured outside of their stores. More visibility and support should be given to projects like this.”

In addition to Civita Park and E Street Greenway, SDG won two awards of merit, one for Fox Point Farms Agrihood in Encinitas and another for Maruta Gardner Playground at Bonita Cove Park in Chula Vista.

Based in San Diego, since its inception in 1983, SDG has received 175 awards. To learn more about Schmidt Design Group and the rebirth of Mission Valley, visit:

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About Cecil D. Ramirez

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