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Kite flyers okay with new Mission Bay playgrounds

Not like the 1980s

The grassy field has a slight elevation, plenty of running space.
The grassy field has a slight elevation, plenty of running space.

On May 23, David Corning and his wife drove to Mission Bay Park to scope out the new playground the city of San Diego spent part of its $8.3 million budget to build. "It looks like a large jungle gym aimed at kids above the age of six," he said Monday. "This is good because the playground just south of this location is definitely for toddlers."

Corning referred to the under-construction Tecolote North Playground and Adult Fitness Course Improvements area south of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort. The signage posted on the fence states the new (33,165 square/foot) playground and fitness course and bathrooms are slated to be completed by the end of the month. The other park, the Tecolote South Playground and accompanying bathrooms, half a mile south down the bike path and nearer to Sea World Drive, were completed last year.

New north playground. "It looks like a large jungle gym aimed at kids above the age of six."

Some kite fliers grew concerned that the new construction, designed by Schmidt Design Group, and accompanying relocated trees might impede the kite fliers' pathways in the airspace above.

"The proposed project includes the removal of 18 trees; however, 34 new trees would be planted, resulting in a net increase of trees," said the California Coastal Commission per [2][The Log Newspaper] report in November 2020.

Tecolote South Playground was completed last year.

Corning is the current president of the San Diego Kite Club. He assures his club members and other kite fliers that the new playgrounds and the relocated trees surrounding the grassy area where the club's been meeting since 1990 "still exists and will allow ample public space to fly kites."

Corning explained that the large grassy area between the playgrounds had been the go-to spot for kite fliers since the 1980s before their club officially formed in 1990. The grassy field has a slight elevation, plenty of running space, is far away from trees and power lines, has moderate winds above, ample parking along East Mission Bay Drive, and bathrooms available to the north or south.

The signage states the new playground and fitness course and bathrooms are slated to be completed by the end of the month.

But it wasn't always smooth for local kiters. In the 1980s, long before Corning retired and got back into kite flying (in 2000), kite flying restriction signs were posted around town.

On the draft of the new Tecolote North Playground posted on the city's website, an entire page is devoted to "wind play," depicting kite fliers and kites in the sky and a diagram of the wind flow coming in from Mission Beach from the west. There will be a box kite-themed tower installed within the new playground.

Corning continued, "The box kite design, if built of strong material and stood on end, might make a good jungle gym for the kids to climb. Then, after they are worn out from play, they can always relax while flying kites on the grass field of Tecolote Shores Park. The box kite is the most common and well-known of many cellular kite designs. It has a high lift-to-weight ratio that made it very popular for the Wright Brothers and other first airplane designs."

TheSan Diego Kite Club meets between the new Tecolote North and South Playgrounds located off the I-5 / Sea World Drive exit every second Saturday of the month.

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The grassy field has a slight elevation, plenty of running space.
The grassy field has a slight elevation, plenty of running space.

On May 23, David Corning and his wife drove to Mission Bay Park to scope out the new playground the city of San Diego spent part of its $8.3 million budget to build. "It looks like a large jungle gym aimed at kids above the age of six," he said Monday. "This is good because the playground just south of this location is definitely for toddlers."

Corning referred to the under-construction Tecolote North Playground and Adult Fitness Course Improvements area south of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort. The signage posted on the fence states the new (33,165 square/foot) playground and fitness course and bathrooms are slated to be completed by the end of the month. The other park, the Tecolote South Playground and accompanying bathrooms, half a mile south down the bike path and nearer to Sea World Drive, were completed last year.

New north playground. "It looks like a large jungle gym aimed at kids above the age of six."

Some kite fliers grew concerned that the new construction, designed by Schmidt Design Group, and accompanying relocated trees might impede the kite fliers' pathways in the airspace above.

"The proposed project includes the removal of 18 trees; however, 34 new trees would be planted, resulting in a net increase of trees," said the California Coastal Commission per [2][The Log Newspaper] report in November 2020.

Tecolote South Playground was completed last year.

Corning is the current president of the San Diego Kite Club. He assures his club members and other kite fliers that the new playgrounds and the relocated trees surrounding the grassy area where the club's been meeting since 1990 "still exists and will allow ample public space to fly kites."

Corning explained that the large grassy area between the playgrounds had been the go-to spot for kite fliers since the 1980s before their club officially formed in 1990. The grassy field has a slight elevation, plenty of running space, is far away from trees and power lines, has moderate winds above, ample parking along East Mission Bay Drive, and bathrooms available to the north or south.

The signage states the new playground and fitness course and bathrooms are slated to be completed by the end of the month.

But it wasn't always smooth for local kiters. In the 1980s, long before Corning retired and got back into kite flying (in 2000), kite flying restriction signs were posted around town.

On the draft of the new Tecolote North Playground posted on the city's website, an entire page is devoted to "wind play," depicting kite fliers and kites in the sky and a diagram of the wind flow coming in from Mission Beach from the west. There will be a box kite-themed tower installed within the new playground.

Corning continued, "The box kite design, if built of strong material and stood on end, might make a good jungle gym for the kids to climb. Then, after they are worn out from play, they can always relax while flying kites on the grass field of Tecolote Shores Park. The box kite is the most common and well-known of many cellular kite designs. It has a high lift-to-weight ratio that made it very popular for the Wright Brothers and other first airplane designs."

TheSan Diego Kite Club meets between the new Tecolote North and South Playgrounds located off the I-5 / Sea World Drive exit every second Saturday of the month.

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