Park and Recreation - Open Space Canyons and San Diego River Park

Open Space Division Canyon Enhancement Projects

Open Space canyons are located throughout the City of San Diego, and you may find one just beyond your own backyard. San Diego's canyons contain natural and cultural history unique to our region. For many communities these canyons are all that remain as undeveloped natural landscape. Canyons provide the citizens of San Diego with such benefits as scenic vistas, preservation of natural resources, outdoor recreation, and other benefits to health and well-being.

The City of San Diego Park & Recreation Department's Open Space Division manages over 24,000 acres of open space, including open space canyons and parklands. Some 3,200 acres are citywide neighborhood canyons and parklands which are overseen by the Open Space Canyon Program staff.

The Open Space Division Canyon Program supports various "Friends of Canyons" groups by assisting with environmental education, canyon enhancement planning, weed management, trail maintenance, and kiosk installation. Park Rangers provide enforcement of City of San Diego municipal codes for park rules and regulations such as dog off leash and transient camp abatement.

To report suspected illegal activity including transient encampments, encroachment onto City property, or other maintenance needs, please call (619) 235-5262. In an emergency please call 9-1-1.

Join the Open Space Canyon Park Rangers on the 4th Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon to help improve the park. Duties include performing trail maintenance, erosion control, weed removal, planting, and litter abatement.

Volunteers are responsible for knowing their own physical limitations, the safe usage of tools, and being aware of the environment (sun/heat, rattlesnakes, ticks, poison oak, etc.).

* Individuals under 18 years of age must have the volunteer waiver electronically signed by a parent or legal guardian. Volunteers under 13 years of age, must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for the entire event to participate.

Location is subject to change and registration is required. Please coordinate with Park Rangers for updated location information.

There will be no events in July, Aug., & Sept., due to the heat. Heavy rain cancels the event.

As a reminder, there are no bathrooms on site.

Please wear clothes suitable for outdoor work (long pants, sun protection and sturdy, closed-toe shoes), and be sure to bring work gloves and water. For more information, please contact Ranger James at for the current schedule and location.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement 

·       The City of San Diego is requiring all volunteers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 1, 2021. 

·       Volunteer candidates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by their start date in accordance with City policy. “Fully vaccinated” means a person has received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Acceptable COVID-19 vaccines must either be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or authorized for emergency use by the FDA or the World Health Organization.  

·       Volunteer candidates who are selected for a volunteer opportunity will be required to provide proof of their full COVID-19 vaccination. 

·       Volunteers with a disability or medical condition that makes it medically inadvisable for them to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as verified by their healthcare provider, or those with a sincerely held religious belief, observance, or practice that prevents them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, may request reasonable accommodation and exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Candidates who receive a conditional job offer and wish to make a request for accommodation will be provided with more information. The City will review requests for medical or religious accommodation on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. A candidate’s start date may be adjusted to allow for the accommodation process.