The Mountain Hawk Park Master Plan was derived from a children’s story. The story is about a rabbit and a hawk that meet in the park and become friends, concludes with the hope that the site will always be a place where children can learn about nature and their own history.
Chosen through a design competition sponsored by the City of Chula Vista, this park contains dramatic views of mountains, Upper Otay Lake Reservoir and the Otay River Valley. Regional trails traverse the site. The Master Plan called for re-establishing natural slope contours and replanting several plant species, particularly local grasses and eucalyptus.
The Master Plan boasts of unique elements and character such as Hawk Mountain entrance, Rabbit’s Path active play and passive areas, Hawk’s Perch gazebo in a grove, Mountain Springs children’s water play area, Rabbit’s Trail and The Bridge all bring the story to life. The most unique element of the design is the interpretive column program, illustrating the site’s history, its peoples, animals and plants, the importance of healthy recreation, and conserving precious water; eleven circular columns are located throughout the park. Each column include art tiles produced by local school children and bronze panels with details of the themes.
Mountain Hawk Park integrates all the typical recreational and visitor amenities of a suburban neighborhood park: soccer fields, basketball court, tot and children’s play equipment, picnic areas, walking paths, restrooms, required off-street parking, and other basic site amenities including an outdoor amphitheater overlooking the lake and the mountains beyond.
In 2005 the project received the Honor Award for Visionary Design from the American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego Chapter.