Grants being used to fund project along San Diego River

SAN DIEGO - The last 17-acre lot of land still covered with dirt, trash and a combination of native and non-native plants and shrubs will soon get a makeover.

"People probably drive by here and think, 'What's going on there?' And rather than a big tall building, it's actually going to be an education center and a community park," said Rob Hutsel of the San Diego River Foundation.

The Grant family donated the property to the nonprofit San Diego River Park Foundation. The area going to be developed sits just west of Interstate 8, at the corner of Qualcomm Way and Camino Del Rio North.

The San Diego River stretches over 52 miles from the mountains near Julian to the ocean.

10News learned 38,000 people live within one mile of the project. More than 6,500 are in the K-12 age range, and this will be the only urban park in the area to service those residents.

"It'll be great. People will drive right in and park there, school groups and other people in the neighborhood will be able to walk right up or ride their bike," said Hutsel.

The project is expected to cost the San Diego River Park Foundation about $15 million. A recent $26,000 grant from the San Diego Foundation will get them one step closer.

"This area will not only remain open, but it will be turned into a discovery center so that people can learn about the San Diego River," said Emily Young of the San Diego Foundation.

They hope to have the projected completed by 2015.

The San Diego River Park Foundation needs to raise another $5 million by 2015.

For more information about the San Diego River Park Foundation, go to http://www.sandiegoriver.org.

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