TheBalboa Park

Restingon a 1200 acres tract of land, the Balboa Park is definitely one ofthe most notable parks in America. The park has more than eighty-fiverecreation organizations and cultural conservations dedicated toproviding excellent recreational services to the visitors. BalboaPark is enclosed by the Upas Street to the North, the Rus Boulevardto the South, 28th Street to the East and the Sixth Avenue to theWest. The park attracts more than thirteen million visitors per yearhence is the major attraction site in the region. In its earlieryears, the park hosted notable global events such asPanama-California Exposition ((1915-1916) and the California PacificExposition (1935-1936) (The Balboa Park 1). These events hadsignificant contributions to the architectural designs of the parkwhich have long been declared national historic monuments. The parkoffers an excellent combination of attraction facilities such as theCarousal, miniature roads among others, recreation facilities andplay arenas. The park is also home to classic hotels and restaurants,which offer excellent food and entertainment services (The BalboaPark 1).

Sizeand features

TheBalboa Park rests on a 1200 acres piece of land that was asset asidein 1968 for recreational services. However, it took forty years forthe first beautification plan to be completed. The firstbeautification program was funded by the citizens, through taxationlevied by the government. In 1915-16, the landmark Spanish ColonialRevival-style buildings were constructed as the park hosted thePanama-California Exposition and the California Pacific Exposition(1935-1936) (The Balboa Park 1).

TheBalboa Park consists of fifteen museums, park gardens theatrecomplexes the San Diego Zoo and outdoor amphitheatre facilities. Thepark houses the San Diego Velodrome, archery ranges, tennis clubs andcourts and a basketball court. Additionally, the park has an neighteen-hole golf court that is open to the public, a nine-hole golfcourt for the executives as well as a disc golf course. Otherattraction facilities include walking and jogging trails, chess andbridge outdoor tables, a horseshoe pit, a picnic arena and all othersport courts. Other facilities within the park include the San DiegoZoo, the Naval Medical Center San Diego and the San Diego HighSchool. Despite being in the park, these facilities are not run bythe San Diego Park and Recreation Department, the department that ismandated with running the park (The Balboa Park 1).


Technically,the management of the Balboa Park falls under the San Diego Parks andRecreation Department. However, in reality, the management isintrinsic and involves several departments and organizations. The SanDiego Parks and Recreation Department has leased over a hundred andtwenty acres to Zoological society of San Diego, which attracts overone million visitors. The Navy Medical facility occupies about ninetyacres of land. Additionally, there is a defunct landfill thatoccupies fifty-acre piece. The defunct land is monitored by the SanDiego Department of environmental services and is off-limit to thepublic. The twenty-six museums in the park have leases and managementcontracts with their buildings similar to the recreation groups, thelawn bowling and tennis association. The park is managed by variousmulti-agencies which include, the Committee of One Hundred Foreverpark and the Balboa park Cultural partnership. Others include theFriends of Balboa Park, the Patrons of the Prado, the Thursday Cluband the Endowment for the San Diego Foundation (The Balboa Park 1).


Themulti-agencies and foundations responsible for running the parkcontribute annual allocations that are added to annual proceeds fromcultural, zoological and horticultural institutions to finance theoperations of the park. A proportion of the park`s expenses iscovered by the private sector through fundraising and volunteering.However, in terms of dollars, the private support to the park isinsignificant considering the huge costs required in running the park(The Balboa Park 1). A significant proportion of the revenuecollected is spent on operations personnel and the maintenance.However, looking beyond the flamboyant Spanish architecture,manicured-lawn bowling fields and golf courses, it is revealed thatthe park is facing huge challenges, including financing challenges, apopulation of homeless persons and the inability to keep up withday-to-day maintenance (The Balboa Park 1).

Rolein the community and redevelopment

Despitethese challenges, the Balboa Park is at the forefront in providingexcellent recreation and entertainment services to the local,regional and international visitors. The park is one of the momentousinstitutions in San Diego. The park goes beyond the incalculablenatural and cultural value to be an important economic powerhouse inthe region assisting in the creation of wealth through tourism (TheBalboa Park 1). Additionally, the park adds to the total value of SanDiego through the provision of excellent medical services from thenavy medical facility, education and recreational services. These, incombination with property value, environmental conservation anddirect use of the facilities adds up to the total value of the parkto the society. Additionally, the park has immense contributions tothe reconstruction of man’s history through the various museumslocated therein.


TheBalboa Park. Balboa Park: Inside the Park. Retrieved from