Once a neglected and rundown park located in historic Balboa Park, the vibrant design of Pepper Grove Discovery Park invites healthy activity and is a popular destination for tourists and families. With its proximity to the Rueben H. Fleet Science Center, the Children’s theater, and the San Diego Zoo, it is now a place where family and school groups could gather for field trips and picnics, and has become a staging area for the nearby Centro Cultural de la Raza and other inner city events.
Innovative playground equipment, curved benches and round tables, painted in whimsical patterns and other instructional elements within the park inspired the word "Discovery". In addition, acknowledging the world famous San Diego Zoo, sculpted concrete animals nestle within the sand and rubberized play lots. For plentiful seating, surrounding the central plaza is a series of long, undulating concrete benches that suggest the vertebrae of a prehistoric animal.
Pepper Grove Park opened in the fall of 1999 and has received the Earl Hayden Award for project management from the City of San Diego. Today, Pepper Grove Discovery Park appears on several website travel guides as "an ideal spot for picnicking" and as "one of the fun things to do in San Diego".