EarthLab Pocket Park

Corner of Eculid and I-94 south off-ramp.
Completed: Phase 1, October 25, 2015

The EarthLab Pocket Park is an opportunity to engage the community as stewards of their precious open spaces and creek habitat. Funded by a grant from the County of San Diego, the Pocket Park was created through a participatory design and build process with the community and hundreds of volunteers. This first step in creating the EarthLab Pocket Park includes the main infrastructure of paths, seating, nature play space and nature inspired murals.

The Pocket Park at EarthLab is an ongoing community effort to develop a .25 acre parcel into a beautiful ecological landscape and neighborhood open space. Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek has been pioneering the effort with the support of several other movers and shakers, such as NAASCO, SDUSD and UCSD.

Rooted in Place facilitated two community design meetings to gather ideas, input and inspiration which was then formulated into a schematic design. The community driven design includes children’s nature-play spaces, edible planting areas, water-wise planting and various seating. The Pocket Park is a place where different generations can be engaged in ecological stewardship and be a part of the shift that is happening in southeastern San Diego. Open space is being reclaimed and transformed into a dynamic gathering spaces for events, family time and play.

The design incorporates salvaged materials, native and water-wise plantings, and a graphic language developed form resident artsit’s, Todd Stands, murals that are integrated throughout the EarthLab and Pocket Park. Small in budget, this project creatively re-purposes common construction materials to provide basic site amenities that any park space would need.

From October 22-25, 2015, over 300 students, 60 NAASCO employees, and 30 community volunteers worked together to implement Phase 1 of the EarthLab Pocket Park.

Project Gallery


Rooted In Place Landscape Architecture and Consulting:
Project and Construction Management, Community Facilitator, and Designer.

Additional Support included:
Todd Stands, artist
San Diego County, Health and Human Services, Community Health Engagement Team

San Diego County
National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, NAASCO

Project Partners:
National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, NAASCO

Media Coverage: