Parks and Rec

Play Pockets a First for County Parks


Have you ever heard of play pockets? These mini playgrounds will soon make their debut in San Diego County.

Residents in the South County had a chance to learn all about them at a kickoff event at the Tijuana River Valley Sports Park Saturday.

As kids played games and competed in the whiffle ball home run derby, parents   checked out some design ideas for these play pockets. County Parks plans to sprinkle them along a path running around the perimeter of the sports park. 

The nature-based play pockets are designed for children under the age of 5. As they walk along the path, they’ll come across a little climbing wall or a slide or get a chance to balance on a log before continuing on to find another play pocket hidden just around the corner.

The idea is to get children to be more active.   

“These play pockets will add elements of fun, excitement and discovery to keep children actively engaged and on the move,” said Supervisor Greg Cox, Chairman of First 5 San Diego.  

“The project will be a gateway between the organized sports fields and the beautiful natural habitat in the valley,” said County Parks Director Brian Albright. “The nature play experience will get kids excited about playing outside and connected with nature.”

The project is the first of its kind for County parks and will serve as a model for other parks in the region.

The County is working with First 5 San Diego to add play pockets to the sports park. First 5 promotes the health and well-being of children during their most critical years of development – the first five years.

“The project is truly a creative way to combine physical activity and environmental education,” said First 5 San Diego Executive Director Kimberly Medeiros. “This new concept supports First 5 San Diego’s priority to foster a healthy lifestyle for San Diego’s youngest residents.”     

Construction is expected to start in the fall of 2015 and be completed in the spring of 2016.


Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact