In the park-deficient communities of the Chollas Creek Watershed, citizen participation in the design of the urban environment is critical. Brownfield remediation, vacant lot improvements, the location of trails, parks, open space, and transit have a dramatic impact on the social and economic and physical well-being of residents.

Groundwork San Diego works with residents to engage in community plan updates, City of San Diego planning processes such as the San Diego Bicycle MasterPlan, State initiatives such as the Natural Communities Conservation Program, and regional conservation efforts such as the Integrated Watershed Management Plan. The Encanto Neighborhoods Community Plan update identified a degraded City parcel, 47th and Castana, now being developed into a pocket park by Groundwork San Diego.