Balboa Park had high hopes and humble beginnings. Fourteen hundred acres of mesa were set aside by the city of San Diego in 1868 in an effort to create a city park. City Park is what the property was called for the longest time, as it was nothing spectacular – a mesa of overgrown indigenous flora overlooking the area that would become today’s downtown. It sat in this state of undevelopment for over twenty years. Tourico Vacations Reviews Balboa Park – San Diego, California, one of the most well known parks in the country.
A wealthy local socialite and gardener, Kate Sessions, was first to step up with beautification efforts in 1892. She offered to introduce a hundred trees inside the park each year, as well as trees and other various shrubbery around the city in general if the city would grant 32 acres of the park’s grounds to her for her personal commercial nursery. Several of the tree, plant, and flower species within the park are there due to Sessions’ earliest efforts. As a matter of fact, many of the trees Sessions planted herself are still alive. At 1935’s California Pacific Exposition, Sessions earned her title, quite literally, as the Mother of Balboa Park.
It wasn’t until the very early 1900s that an actual plan was commenced for improving the city’s park space. While the process formally began in 1903 (and lasted throughout 1910), it wasn’t until 1905 that the city levied a tax for the project. They installed irrigation systems, continued planting various species, and built roads until finally the park began to take the shape that you see today, although roughly 200 acres were reclaimed by the city for various developments.
In 1915, the city was to host the Panama-California Exposition. City Park was not suitable enough for an event as prestigious as this. In 1910, the San Diego commissioners put out the call for votes for a new name for their city park and the eagerness to be a part of the renaming was enormous. There were several months of discussions and, while several names were thrown in the hat, commissioners finally settled on naming the park after the first explorer to view the Pacific from Panama, Vasco Balboa. Tourico Vacations Reviews Balboa Park in San Diego and other popular destinations for travel with you.